Local News: City Continues Trans Plan Discussion; 101 Closed 4 Hrs in Coos County; Gas Prices Up; Stiles to Chair LCC Board

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Transportation Plan Deliberations to Continue

They just flat ran out of time Monday night.  The Florence City Council had so many things to do, they weren’t able to get to all of them.  One of the items, according to Mayor Phil Brubaker, was the city’s Transportation Systems Plan.  Rather than continue to discuss it into the late evening, they opted to move deliberations to a special meeting next week.

Phil Brubaker – “Next Monday night, the 23rd.  We’re going to start at six pm.”

The plan covers a 20-year span of transportation improvements with 72 different projects listed.  Brubaker says they’ll be ranked somewhat by need, but mostly by the ability to pay for them.

Florence Mayor Phil Brubaker. Photo by Shawn Penrod

Phil Brubaker – “I think what we’re going to end up doing is prioritize by probable funding source.  For example, there would be no way we do that multi-use path without ODOT money, the Transportation Enhancement grant.”

He’s referring to the bike and pedestrian path that will eventually connect the Heceta Beach area with downtown.  One phase of that will begin later this summer and the bulk of it will be funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Phil Brubaker – “But it also entails a $104-thousand match from the city street fund.  So that means something’s gotta give in our street maintenance program in order to move that priority up.  Those are the types of tough decisions we’re going to be making in our priority ranking.”

Brubaker and the Council will continue to go through the list and rankings Monday night beginning at six pm.  The entire plan, including those six-dozen projects, can be found on the city’s website.

Speeding Driver Killed After Failing to Stop for Police

Highway 101, 11 miles south of Reedsport, was closed four hours last night after a driver who refused to pull over for a traffic stop was killed in a five-vehicle crash.  Three others were injured.  A trooper tried to stop a speeding vehicle near Hauser just before five pm.  The driver did not stop and continued another seven miles before colliding with four others on the Tenmile Creek Bridge just south of Lakeside.  The driver died at the scene.  Traffic was detoured through Spinreel Road until just after nine pm.

Gas Prices Take an Upward Hike

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline increased six cents this past week in Florence to $3.44.  At the same time, Oregon’s average price, as measured by Triple-A, held steady at $3.55 and the national average increased by two cents to $3.41.  Marie Dodds with Triple-A says the minor adjustment in price is due to rising crude oil prices.  But, she adds, drivers are enjoying lower prices this summer than last year when the Oregon average was $3.75 and the national average was $3.68.  Oregon has the 12th highest average price in the country after hovering at number ten for the past three weeks.  Hawaii and Alaska remain above four dollars on average.  Connecticut is the highest mainland price at $3.74… California is next at $3.72.  South Carolina is still the lowest price on average, although it did increase by four cents this past week to $3.06 a gallon.

Stiles to Lead LCC Board

Florence resident Sharon Stiles will lead the Lane Community College Board of Education for the next year.  The retired mediator has represented the Western Lane District of LCC since 2009.  She was elected board chair Monday evening.  Rosie Pryor, a Eugene resident and ‘at-large’ member of the board will serve as vice chair.