Friends of the Astoria Column Receives Kudos for Commitment to Preservation and Maintenance of the Astoria Column
Astoria, OR – July 2, 2018 – At Monday night’s City Council Meeting, the Friends of the Astoria Column presented their annual report to the City outlining their restoration and capital improvement projects, plans for education and outreach, and contributions to the City’s general fund.
Formed in 1988 by then Mayor Edith Henningsgaard-Miller and Portland businessman and civic leader, Jordan Schnitzer, the Friends of the Astoria Column was initially created to serve the major restoration needs of the 125 ft. tall Astoria Column. Since its founding, the Friends of the Column have taken over site management for the past five years, saving the City approximately$50,000 annually.
“The Astor Park is a 37.5 acre park. Park maintenance alone required many hours of staff time from our Maintenance Division of which is already stretched with reduction in staffing.” said, Angela Cosby, Director of Parks and Recreation. “The Friends of the Astoria Column’s commitment to preservation, stewardship, and public education has contributed greatly not only to the many visitors that enjoy this historical structure, but to the City as well.”
In 2016, the City of Astoria unanimously approved a $5 annual parking pass fee with $1.00 from the fee being allocated to the City, while $2.00 of the annual parking pass fee is utilized for standard operational needs, and the remaining $2.00 is saved for future restoration needs and capital expenses.
“For many Astorians, the Astoria Column serves as a symbolic marker of ‘home.’” said Mayor Arline LaMear. ”The Friends’ 31 years of service to our historical park will ensure that locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy throwing gliders off the Column for generations to come.”
In their presentation to City Council, the Friends of the Astoria Column provided City Councilors with their 2018 Capital improvement plans, which include Installation of energy efficient LED lighting and restoring the area around Chief Concomly’s canoe. Other plans include adding restrooms, improving access to historical information on its website, and increasing sales at the gift shop.