16 September 2013
Rhody Express and FEC Funding…
A pair of items expected to bring out a larger than usual crowd has prompted officials to schedule this evening’s regular meeting of the Florence City Council at the Florence Events Center Tonight.
The first is a report from the FEC Special Committee charged with finding a sustainable funding source. Florence City Manager Jacque Betz said the group is recommending approval of a policy allowing the use of general fund property tax money to help subsidize operations at the center. The move would not require voter approval, nor would it require an increase in the statutory tax rate in Florence.
It will use about $200-thousand in general fund tax money that used to go towards paying for fire protection before the city was annexed by Siuslaw Rural Fire three years ago.
The other item expected to bring out a good size crowd is a proposal to change the Rhody Express bus service routes.
The original proposal was to discontinue stops at Greentrees and the Senior Center because of declining ridership. Those would be replaced by adding Three Rivers Casino to the route. The latest proposal to be discussed tonight is to retain all the stops and still add TRC… the meeting starts at the FEC at seven pm.
Crash Temporarily Halts Traffic
Highway 126 just east of Mapleton was closed briefly yesterday afternoon due to a two-vehicle crash with what officials said were serious injuries.
Initially, Oregon State Police were worried the highway would be facing an extended closure, but one lane of traffic was reopened within an hour of the 2:30 PM crash. 126 was fully reopened around 4:00.
Police have not released any further information.
Heceta To Step up Water Quality Monitoring
The application of the herbicide Roundup on a parcel of timberland that drains into Collard Creek in the Clear Lake Watershed has prompted Heceta Water District officials to step up water quality monitoring.
Heceta General Manager Scott Meyer said while efforts to prevent the spraying were unsuccessful, he wanted to reassure water customers that there will not be any change in quality.
Meyer said the main component of the herbicide is routinely tested for in their treatment process and if it is detected in Clear Lake, the filtration and treatment process will remove it. He said the district made a change in the filtration process two years ago and he is confident the “granulated activated carbon” in the system will remove the contaminants that might make it that far.
Meyer and the Board of Commissioners for the district want to assure residents who drink Heceta Water that it is safe.
You Otter See These Guys
Judge, Mojoe and Schuster are inviting folks to come visit them at their home next week.
Their home is the Oregon Coast Aquarium and they comprise the largest raft of sea otters in Oregon.
Brittany Blades is a Mammalogist and oversees the otters, along with other aquatic mammals at the aquarium in Newport. She says next week is Sea Otter Awareness Week.
The aquarium will be hosting several additional exhibits beginning Sunday the 22nd. There will be a free after-hours presentation in the aquarium lobby Friday the 27th at six pm and a special give-away to the first 200 visitors Saturday the 28th.
Officials at the Oregon Coast Aquarium say “you otter” check out the live-feed aquari-cam at the organization’s website to see what Judge, Mojoe and Schuster are up to.