Port hears about possible buyers; More than half-century of fire service nearing an end; Lane Metro controversy; Emergency Services standing by.

Coast Radio News
Local News

18 April 2013

Port Commission hears of potential buyers…

Port of Siuslaw Commissioners heard about three possible purchasers last night of land in the port’s industrial park between Pacific View and Rhododendron Drive.  Port Manager Bob Forsythe said he’s had contact with one unnamed local business interested in expanding its operations onto a portion of the 40 acre site.

Additionally, he said, officials at Central Lincoln PUD have expressed interest in acquiring ten acres for future use.

The third area of interest is coming from the U.S. Coast Guard which will be sending representatives to tour the site and the port’s upstream marina.  Forsythe said officials have expressed an interest in moving part of their Siuslaw River operations to both locations.

In other business, following a lengthy executive session called under the real property transaction exclusion, three of the four commissioners voted to direct Forsythe to begin conversations with city of Florence officials about possibly acquiring the Florence Events Center and the Florence Municipal Airport.

One commissioner, Bill Fleenor, left at the end of the executive session and was not present for the vote.

Half Century of Fire Service Nearing End

Siuslaw Valley Fire Chief John Buchanan will likely step down in November after a fire service career spanning more than five decades. (Port of Siuslaw Photo)
Siuslaw Valley Fire Chief John Buchanan will likely step down in November after a fire service career spanning more than five decades. (Port of Siuslaw Photo)

Siuslaw Valley Fire Chief John Buchanan appears to be headed to retirement after an issue with his health over Easter Weekend.  Buchanan was visiting family in Central California when he felt a sharp pain to his side.  He was rushed to an area hospital where they removed his ruptured appendix and discovered a malignant tumor.

The 73-year old fire chief also serves on the Port of Siuslaw Commission.  Fellow commissioners learned last night that surgery to remove the malignancy appears to have been successful and he’s expected to be back in Florence by the end of this month.

Meanwhile, officials at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue are proceeding with the process to recruit and secure a replacement for Buchanan when his current contract expires next fall.

Lane Metro Controversy

A power struggle is under way in Lane County over business recruiting.

That struggle apparently involves the economic development agency Lane Metro, and its longtime executive director, Jack Roberts who is also a former Lane County Commissioner and state labor commissioner.

The Register Guard reports that emails show the county wants its own economic development officer, Glenda Poling, to take over Lane Metro, which is supported by local governments.

Roberts told the Lane Metro board that county administrator Liane Richardson, threatened to withhold Lane County’s $100-thousand contribution unless there is a change in leadership.

Richards told the Register Guard that she wants Lane Metro to improve communications with local economic development officials.  She denied attaching the requirement that Roberts leave in order to receive the money.

Emergency Services Prepared for Bridge Closure

Emergency fire and medical crews will be standing by on the south side of the Siuslaw River overnight at transportation officials conduct a training exercise.

Western Lane Ambulance and Siuslaw Valley Fire will have an increased presence on both sides of the Siuslaw River Bridge during the 2 am to 5 am training.  Crews with the Oregon Department of Transportation will practice raising and lowering the draw spans on the bridge without electricity.

Traffic will be shut down for an hour at a time beginning at two tomorrow morning… ODOT officials say the training will end by five.