Lane County Commissioners took a tentative step last week towards the possibility of seeking voter approval for a Local Option Tax Levy that would help fund public safety. West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich said the only decision made so far is to test the waters.
206– “Basically what we did was we asked our administrator to put a task force together to look at the possibility of putting something on the ballot so it’s not a done deal that we’re actually going to do it. And part of what they’re going to look at is: what are the probabilities of it being able to pass.”
It’s not a new problem. The county is looking at a shortfall of just under $15-million next year… primarily because the end of federal funding that offset lost logging revenue.
205– “We’re looking to plug a temporary problem we’re going to have with the lack of timber money coming in from the federal lands until they fix that problem we’re in a pretty much of a crisis with our public safety system.”
The Administrator’s task force will report back to the board sometime in early April. A temporary one-year fix to the timber payments issue has been approved by the U.S. Senate, but it also faces approval in the House. Bozievich said last week that even with that stop-gap funding, public safety funding will be way below previous years.
The Florence City Council is being asked to approved a rate hike for garbage haulers in the city. Last week the Environmental Management Advisory Committee… E-Mac… conducted a hearing of their own on the matter and recommended higher rates that would add about three dollars per month to the bills of more than half of the residential customers. A recent examination of the expenses and revenue of County Transfer and Recycling as well as Central Coast Disposal showed the current rates allowed only a ‘whisker thin’ margin of profitability… not enough to ensure the financial health of both haulers. E-Mac endorsed a rate schedule based on a nine-percent profit margin and suggests phasing in the increases over a three-year period. The council will conduct a hearing of their own on the matter this evening at seven.
The City of Florence has been selected to be the recipient of several thousand hours of volunteer labor. The end result of that project could be a new dog park. City Manager Jacque Betz said staff at City Hall was approached with the offer that would bring 400 volunteers to town on one day in July.
209 – “It’s called make a difference day and it’s through the local Mormon Church and this year they have chosen Florence.”
Members of the Church of Jesus Christ, Latter Day Saints would clear the ground, install features and fixtures with nearly instantaneous results.
210 – “It is a very rare opportunity and we want to take advantage of the volunteer hours that they would be putting in. So this park would actually be created in one day if the council wants us to move forward.”
Betz said she’s going to be asking the City Council this evening for approval to pursue the project. It matches up with council goals of establishing a dog park while keeping costs at a minimum. If the council approves the concept, the park would be created from an existing park… Singing Pines, at the corner of Airport Road and Kingwood… near the Senior Center.
166 runners and walkers assembled in Old Town Florence Saturday morning for the third Shamrock Run. Jesse Wells of Florence was the first runner across the line in the five-kilometer race with a time of 18:36. Race organizers say well over $3,000 was raised. It will be split between the Boys and Girls Club and the Middle School Track and Field program