Local News: LC Budget; Paint Color Regulations; Florence Rotary; Pick up your garbage

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Local News

Lane County Makes Final Budget Determination

Final reductions in public safety measures will take place this week for Lane County.  The Board of Commissioners yesterday wrapped up action on the budget for the coming year on a split 3-2 vote.  The current year’s budget amount of $581-million will be slashed by 17-percent, or just under 99-million to about $482-million.

What those numbers translate into are cuts in all departments of the county including severe reductions to road maintenance, youth services and animal control.

They also translate directly into the release of 96 inmates from the Lane County Jail between now and Friday.  Sheriff Tom Turner says a county this size should have about one-thousand jail beds… but there will only be about one-seventh that… 152.

It also means an already reduced patrols staff will be cut from 24 to 16 deputies.  Enough for only two eight-hour shifts each day.

The budget approval was not unanimous… Commissioners Peter Sorenson and Rob Handy both voted no saying they wanted to explore more revenue options such as eliminating tax credits or even higher taxes in some cases.

Planning Commission to Discuss Paint Colors

The Florence Planning Commission will discuss the relative merits this evening of paint color.  The 1999 Florence Downtown Plan requires city approval on paint colors for commercial buildings in the Downtown and Old Town Areas… even existing buildings.  Several downtown businesses have recently repainted and the distinctive bright coral and green of Los Compadres Tacqueria caught the eye of one commissioner.

Community Development Director Sandra Belson acknowledged the city had not approved the color.  She’s asking the Planning Commission for direction and guidance on what action, if any, to take.

Florence Rotary Recognized

Rotary International has more than 1.2-million members in over 34-thousand clubs world wide.  The 110 members of the Florence Rotary Club were recently recognized as one of only a handful of recipients of the “Rotary Changemaker Awards”.  Those are presented to clubs that “make a positive and significant change in the community and the world”.  Florence Rotary does just that with two international projects… a clean water initiative and efforts to eradicate polio.

They also continue to have an impact locally, providing money for dozens of different programs, including thousands of dollars in scholarships to local students each year.  One member of the Florence club was singled out.  Out of more than 4-thousand Rotarians in Western Oregon, Kevin McMullen received Honorable Mention for the District 5110 Rotarian of the Year.

Pick Up!

Efforts are underway again for the annual Fourth of July fireworks display on the river in Old Town Florence and for Port of Siuslaw Manager Bob Forsythe, that means a huge influx in visitors to Port facilities… a prime viewing spot.  It also means the maintenance crew for the Port of Siuslaw would appreciate a little help, he says.

Bob Forsythe – “If everybody would be so kind as to pick up their trash and haul it out with them or put in the extra containers we’ll put there that would be a real big help to everybody involved.”

The Chamber of Commerce oversees the fireworks themselves, but the Port winds up providing the vantage point for thousands of visitors.