Local News – Low Energy Assistance; Council deals with graffiti

Coast Radio News
Local News

November 5, 2012

Low Income Heating Assistance Program Maxes Out

Thursday morning was the first day for low-income households to apply for a one-time cash subsidy to help pay their heating bill this winter.  Turns out it was the only day as it only took an hour and ten minutes for the list to mushroom to 360 households.  Officials at Siuslaw Outreach Services had to quit taking applications by 10:15 that day.

Housing Assistance Manager Bob Teter said there were 40 people camped out on their doorstep that morning.

The amount of money they’ll have to work with from the federally funded program is expected to be some where around $60-thousand.  That will be divvied up based on individual household need… and expected heating costs.  Applicants will be processed in the order received by SOS, but not until Teter gets official authorization.  He’s hoping there will be an additional allocation in December as well, but until then he’s advising all applicants to continue to pay their utility bills and not make any assumptions that they’ll receive assistance.

Graffiti and Capital Purchases

The Florence City Council will be dealing with a perceived graffiti problem this evening when they meet and consider additions to the General Offenses ordinance.  City Manager Jacque Betz, in a report to the council, says graffiti can be found in several different areas of the city and in several different forms from paint at Miller Park to yarn in Old Town.

Dealing with the issue requires money for repairs as well as additional staff time and she says changes in the ordinance will make it easier for the city.  In other business this evening, the council will consider approval of a financing package for capital purchases.  Siuslaw Bank has offered a short term loan of $595-thousand to fund two police cruisers and pay for street and utility improvements.  The loan will be repaid by tax revenues and user fees.  The council meets at City Hall at seven PM.

Siuslaw Awards

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is accepting nominations for the annual Siuslaw Business Awards.  The list includes the Stu Johnston Business of the Year; Community Caring; Excellence in Customer Service; and Curb Appeal.  An annual non-profit achievement award is given out as well; and new this year there is the Green Business Award.  Winners will be announced at the Siuslaw Business Awards Dinner to be held Thursday January 13th.  Nominations are due at the Chamber Visitor Center by December 3rd.

Clocks and Smoke Detector Batteries

Sure, you probably set your clocks back over the weekend as Daylight Savings Time came to an end. But Deputy Oregon State Fire Marshall Jim Walker wants to know if you checked the batteries in your smoke detector at the same time.  The semi-annual time change serves as a great reminder, he says, to check the batteries.

Get out the vote.

Election officials say don’t forget to deposit your ballot in one of 21 drop boxes around Lane County before 8 PM tomorrow.  As of Saturday 102-thousand of the county’s 214-thousand registered voters had already done so… that’s 47 ½ percent.