30 May 2014
Gas Tax Proposal To Be Discussed Monday Night
People who buy gas in Florence could be helping to fill potholes next year. That’s if voters approve a gas tax being discussed by the Florence City Council.
City Manager Jacque Betz says the tax would be two-tiered… with a lower rate in the winter.
Betz – “We’re selling it as a seasonal tax, because, the important thing is that not just the citizens of Florence are paying for the impact to the streets. We want to capture those people that are tourists or that live outside the city.”
If approved, says Betz, a three-cent off-season tax would be coupled with a five-cent tax between April and October. That would generate enough revenue to cover a $5-million bond to make repairs that are sorely needed. The number one project, she says, would be a complete rebuild of Rhododendron Drive starting at Hemlock Street. She says the condition of that road is very poor.
The City Council will meet Monday evening to discuss not only whether or not to refer a tax to voters, but at what rate.
CCB Sweeps Coast
The Oregon Construction Contractors Board is investigating 30 potential violations of law after investigators showed up at more than 200 coastal job sites looking for unlicensed contractors.
Seven field investigators made the sweep along the coast last week from Bandon to Astoria.
They turned up more than a dozen people allegedly working without a contractor’s license.
Another three cases involved contractors working on homes built before 1978 without the proper credentials for handling lead-based paint.
Other charges ranged from lacking worker’s compensation insurance to hiring an unlicensed subcontractor.
Berri Leslie, the interim CCB Administrator says illegal activity hurts not only consumers but legitimate contractors as well. Leslie says CCB registration is required for new construction, but also for anyone who repairs or remodels existing structures. Licensed contractors are required to post a bond and have insurance that offers financial protection for the public.
Burn to Learn
Emergency vehicles, added congestion and the possibility of heavy smoke could slow traffic on Rhododendron Drive in the Heceta Beach Area tomorrow morning.
Firefighters will be conducting a training burn on a vacant home on Third Avenue between Arago and Sebastian Streets between 9 AM and 2 PM.
Training on a live fire can prove invaluable for firefighters as they learn to deal with things like how fire behaves; what it’s like to work in high heat and low visibility. They also learn specific tactics used to help control a blaze.
Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue Chief Jim Langborg says the goal is to provide a “realistic experience to help them respond to emergencies in the future”.
Governor Seeks To Sue Oracle
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber says he has asked the state attorney general to sue the company that built the state’s online health insurance enrollment system; the failure of which embarrassed the state and resulted in multiple investigations.
The Democrat governor requested the suit Thursday. He’s asking Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to seek legal accountability from Oracle Corporation, the website’s main technology contractor.
Oregon paid Oracle $134-million… from federal funds… to build what turned out to be a glitch-filled website. Instead of signing up for health insurance in one sitting as intended; Oregonians had to fill out paper or online applications that were processed partially by hand.
Oregon abandoned plans for fixing the site and instead has opted to switch to the federal portal.
The state is still withholding $25.6-million in payments from Oracle.