Local News – Casino Access Won’t Be Opened; Dunes City Honors; Gas Drops; School Business Manager

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Local News

Neighborhood Response Delivers Message to Florence City Council

Residents in the Coastal Highlands neighborhood were out in force Monday night.  A crowd of about 80 packed city hall to deliver a message that a recent proposal to open Coastal Highlands Drive as an alternate access to Three Rivers Casino did not belong in the Transportation Systems Plan.  Florence City Manager Jacque Betz said about a dozen people delivered comments.

Jacque Betz – “They told us how they felt about it and the council listened to what they had to say and basically we were able to come to a consensus that benefitted all parties.”

The council actually didn’t decide anything, but they did give Betz direction that the access proposal should not be included on a list of 72 other transportation related projects.  The message was clear.

Jacque Betz – “In my opinion the process worked in that we wanted to hear what the people had to say about the proposed Coastal Highlands Drive being a through street for the casino property.”

What will be explored, however, is the possibility of creating an “emergency-vehicle-only” entrance through a gate that would be installed at the end of Coastal Highlands Drive.  That would allow access by fire engines or ambulances in the event the Highway 126 or North Fork Road entrances are not available.

The Council has left the hearing on the overall transportation plan open through at least August 6th.

Dunes City Volunteer To Be Honored

Dunes City Councilors will cover a lot of ground tomorrow night at Dunes City Hall.  One of the items for action is the presentation of the first “Volunteer of the Year” award.  It’ll be presented to former Dunes City Mayor and long time resident Bob Read.   Councilors will also hear an update on the progress of repairs to the canoe/kayak portage at the Siltcoos River Dam.  City Recorder Fred Hilden says it appears now that a volunteer effort by employees of the dam operator will take care of corrosion and decay that has made the popular recreation facility dangerous.

New School Business Manager

The Siuslaw School District has filled a key position on a permanent basis.  Superintendent Jeff Davis says the district has been using the services of a temporary Business Manager since the unexpected death earlier this year of Derek Smith.

Jeff Davis – “Jennifer Heiss, who has been our acting business manager, will be transitioning out and we will be bringing in a new business manager, Kari Blake.”

Blake has held a similar position with the Willapa Valley School District on the Washington Coast.  Her first day on the job will be next Wednesday.  Willapa Valley is a small district on the southwest Washington Coast, just north of Astoria.

Gas Price Average Now at January Level

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline fell 14-cents this week in Florence.  The week before that it dropped by 13-cents and since late May it has fallen 80-cents to the current mark of $3.38 a gallon.  That’s close to where it was in February before prices spiked through late winter and springtime.  Oregon’s statewide average fell by six cents in the past seven days, it’s now at $3.55 as measured by Triple-A.  The local price matches the nationwide average of $3.38… that’s up five cents in the past week.