2003 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 9 Jun 2003 19:30:16 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Hot spot - Growing public, private interest in Coos Head
Hot spot - Growing public, private interest in Coos Head
By Andrew Sirocchi, Staff Writer
June 7, 2003

The grass is waist high, swaying with every touch of a breeze. The
buildings smell of mold while water stains pockmark ceilings that
crumble onto stained rugs. Electricity and water have long since been
turned off and the only thing that remains running is equipment that
pumps air into the soil, helping decompose a benzene plume that has
contaminated the ground.

Despite the obvious neglect, the Coos Head Air National Guard base is
one of the most desirable pieces of property available in the county for
even more obvious reasons.

Location. Location. Location.

"It's an exquisite spot," said Trish Mace, who represented the Oregon
Institute of Marine Biology during a walk-though attended by
approximately two dozen people.

The 40-acre property at the Charleston headlands, now being surplused by
the General Services Administration, provides some of the most stunning
vistas in the county. Looking north on a clear day, miles of hooking
coastline are visible.

Locked for years now behind a closed gate is a playground, where
children of military families once played, a tennis court that has
remained unused, a small theater, a dormitory, a vast kitchen, storage
areas and offices. Complete with telephone poles, gas pumps, roads, fire
hydrants and a sewer line, Coos Head was once a nearly self-sustaining
facility. Built from 1956 to 1958, the base functioned as one of six
classified military operations used to listen for nuclear submarines
nearing the Oregon coast.

Today, the sale of the mothballed facility has drawn so much interest
that educational institutions, the Confederated Tribes of the Coos,
Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians, the Coos County Board of Commissioners
and a host of tourism advocates all have expressed interest in
purchasing the property.

Publicly, the groups are conciliatory, saying there's enough room at
Coos Head for everyone to get what they want. But on paper, each is
proposing its own ownership of the property for sometimes diverging

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