Local News – Old Town Infrastructure; Wyden and Tsunami Debris; Click It or Ticket

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Local News

Urban Renewal Expected to OK Next Phase

The next step in a three-phase infrastructure improvement project in Historic Old Town Florence will be taken tomorrow night by the Florence Urban Renewal Agency.

Jacque Betz – “They will be awarding the bid for the second phase of the infrastructure project that they’ve been working on in the Old Town District.”

City Manager Jacque Betz says the first phase involved laying new water and sewer lines on Quince Street between Highway 126 and Harbor Street.  That portion cost just over $600-thousand.  The next phase will begin at Harbor Street and extend the length of 2nd street along the edge of Old Town and under Highway 101 to Kingwood Street.

Jacque Betz – “We opened bids last week and we got some more good news.  Our bid came in actually $183-thousand under what the engineering cost design was.”

Initial estimates placed the potential cost at just over $1.1-million, but the lowest bid came in at $943-thousand.

Overall, the Urban Renewal Agency has set aside $2.2 million for all three phases, leaving just under $700-thousand for the final component that, in addition to water and sewer lines on Bay Street, will include stormwater improvements.  Work on the next phase is expected to begin around October 1st.

Click It or Ticket

Florence police will be making sure drivers are buckled up this weekend during a special seat belt enforcement blitz.  Partially funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation, it’s part of that agency’s “Click It or Ticket” program aimed at reducing highway death and injury by increasing the number of drivers and passengers who wear their seatbelts.

Local police will be out in force both Saturday and Sunday afternoon in marked and unmarked vehicles looking for violators.  Officers will also be focusing on cell phone and texting while driving.  All three offenses are Class D violations and carry a minimum $110 fine.

Tsunami Debris

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden will be in the Florence area Friday morning to discuss the problem of tsunami debris.  Wyden’s office convened some of the first meetings on the coast to discuss concerns about debris from the March 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami and the threats posed to tourism, commercial fishing and shipping.  The ten AM meeting will begin at the Honeyman State Park office on Highway 101 and will include a tour of one of the tsunami debris collection sites set up by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

Joining the senior Democrat from Oregon will be Florence Mayor Phil Brubaker; Oregon Parks and Recreation area manager Shirley Stentz; and Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area Ranger Dave Hollamier.