City of Aberdeen looking to buy land for longer-term homeless shelter

The City of Aberdeen is looking to relocate their alternative shelter for local homeless, and it is near the location of the former River City camp.

In a release from Mayor Erik Larson, he says that the city has made a preliminary offer to purchase land at 421 S. Michgan Street for a longer-term shelter.

The approximately 31,000 square feet of property is only a few hundred feet across the railroad tracks from where the former unauthorized encampment was located and is placed directly behind a number of businesses on an empty lot.

The property is being sold as is where is, although according to sale documents, large concrete blocks surrounding the property are not included in the sale as they belong to another owner.

Community Development Director Lisa Scott said in a report that, “Based on the lack of low-cost/affordable housing in Grays Harbor County in general and Aberdeen specifically, City Council and City staff recognizes that longer tenn(sic) alternatives to public camping would be a public benefit.“

A discussion on the purchase of the property is expected to be at the August 28, 2019 City Council Meeting on Wednesday, August 28th at 7:15 on the 3rd floor of Aberdeen City Hall.

in addition to the purchase of land, the city is also requesting the purchase of 150 weatherHYDE shelter tents for $45,000. These tents are intended to be more durable than current shelters provided by the city.

Also scheduled for the Wednesday meeting is the sale of the former River City encampment site, as all 8.11 acres of land is expected to be worth approximately $440,000. In the agenda, it says that consideration was given to use the land for possible North Shore Levee inclusion or as a public park, but neither option is appropriate for the property.

Public comment will be accepted on the purchase as well as the sale of the former property.

For those unable to attend, written comments may be provided prior to the August 28th meeting. Please address all written comments to Aberdeen City Council, 200 E Market St, Aberdeen, WA 98520.

In addition to the Public Meeting, a site tour of the existing Temporary Alternative Shelter Location (TASL) located in the City Hall parking lot will take place on Tuesday, August 27, 2019. All persons interested in the tour should meet the City Council Public Works Committee and the Ad Hoc Committee on Homeless Response at the north side of City Hall at 5:00 pm.

Mayor Larson, City Council members and City staff will be available to answer questions and lessons learned from the current TASL and discuss how those lessons are expected to be applied to a larger and longer-term location.

Aberdeen City Council Agenda – August 28 2019