Local News: Dunes City Septics; Gas Prices Plummet; Marine Reserve Rules; EQ off Coast

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Dunes City Council Discuss Septic Inspections…

Voters in Dunes City may get a chance to weigh in on the matter of septic tank inspections, but just what question they’ll be asked still remains to be seen.  After hearing from their attorney in a closed session for about 45 minutes last night, the Dunes City Council opened their conversation to an empty council chamber.

They spent about an hour haggling over a variety of items related to a recent appeal of their November 2011 decision to repeal an ordinance that required property owners in Dunes City to adhere to a schedule of regular septic tank pumping and inspections.  The Land Use Board of Appeals didn’t weigh in on the matter of required inspections versus voluntary directly, but they did say Dunes City committed a procedural error and reinstated the original mandatory inspection program.

The council discussed several options, but at times seemed to continue their struggle with procedural matters.

In the end, they did wind up directing City Recorder Fred Hilden to explore the process of referring a voluntary inspection program to voters.  They also agreed to hear a presentation by the backers of the previous appeal… the Oregon Coast Alliance, Woahink Lake Association and former councilor Susie Navetta at their next regular meeting.

Gas Prices Drop

Over a 36-hour period earlier this week the average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline tumbled from $4.12 to $3.86 in Florence… a drop of 25-cents per gallon.  Oregon’s statewide average, as measured by Triple-A, dropped 17-cents this week to $3.93 a gallon.  Meanwhile, the national average price is below $3.50 a gallon.

Offshore Quake

A 5.2 magnitude earthquake was recorded about 160-miles west of Coos Bay early yesterday morning.  The quake was in a ‘horizontal’ fault that moved side-to-side at a depth of about a mile and a half below the ocean floor.  No damage was reported and geologists say that type of quake poses no risk of creating a tsunami.

Marine Reserve Rules

New draft rules for administration of marine reserves off the Oregon Coast have been prepared.  The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will be receiving comments on them at their August 3rd meeting in Salem.  There will be a chance next week in Florence to comment on them as well…. The Fish and Wildlife Department conducted an open house last night in Astoria and will be in Tillamook this evening.  Next Monday from six to eight pm they’ll take comments on the rules at the Florence Events Center.  A final meeting is set for Tuesday in Depoe Bay.

Draft rules available here.

Siltcoos Beach Cleanup

The Siuslaw Chapter of the Surfrider Foundation will be hosting a beach cleanup around the Siltcoos Estuary this coming Saturday from ten to noon.