County expected to use federal payments for debt reduction

Coast Radio News
Local News

16 April 2015

Timber payments extension headed to president for signature

Lane County’s long term debt will likely be reduced as the result of a bill passed this week by the U.S. Senate. A Medicare bill that also includes a much-reduced two year extension of the Secure Rural Schools Program is headed to the President for his signature. Lane County Administrator Steve Mokrohiskey said the money will be spread over the current and next fiscal years.

Steve Mokrohiskey – “We’re finalizing our budget for next year. We’ll present this to the Board of Commissioners and the budget committee. Our recommendation is going to be put that in the budget for next year. But we’re going to allocate those additional federal resources to pay off one-time expenses in the general fund and the road fund. Debt obligations primarily.”

The money… roughly $6-million total… represents a 73-percent reduction from what the County received in 2008. It is intended to offset revenue losses due to reduced logging on federal lands in Lane County.

Turner agrees to contract

It’s official. Tom Turner is definitely headed to Florence where he’ll take over as Police Chief on May 1st. Turner signed an employment contract with the City yesterday according to City Manager Erin Reynolds. He’ll be sworn in at the City Council meeting May 4th.

The veteran of 34 years in law enforcement will be taking a hefty pay cut when he makes the move. His salary as the elected sheriff has been $124-thousand a year… he’ll be making about 94-grand in Florence.

The Lane County Commission has already begun the process of finding Turner’s replacement. The application period for that ends tomorrow…. The commissioners will review them next week and possibly make an appointment as early as the 23rd. State and county rules require an election to fill the post within a year… and whoever wins that will only serve until January 2017.

School district to sell surplus items

A long list of unusable, obsolete and/or surplus materials will be sold tomorrow at two different Siuslaw school locations. From eight until two at the Elementary school there will be items offered for sale. Another sale will be offered from nine until two at the district’s maintenance and transportation department on Kingwood Street.

The list of items includes furniture, outdated audio-visual equipment, books, science gear, and even janitorial equipment at the school.

The transportation facility will offer things like ovens, grass catchers, automotive lifts, scaffolding and even old signs from the football field.

A school spokesperson said the list is subject to change… all things are sold as-is, and… she cautioned… no early-birds.

Wind concert to benefit cold weather shelter

The Pacific Wind Ensemble will perform a benefit concert later this month at New Life Lutheran Church to benefit the Florence Emergency Cold Weather Shelter.

The concert is called “Themes Like Old Times”.

The suggested donation is ten dollars… and non-perishable food. There will also be a drawing for a rhododendron.

Kathleen Wenzel says the shelter provides a safe, warm place for people when dangerously cold temperatures occur during the winter months. It’s housed in the Masonic Lodge, two miles south of Florence on Highway 101.

IAAF chooses Eugene

The International Association of Athletics Federations has awarded the 2021 world athletics championships to Eugene. It will be the first time the event will be held in the United States.

The IAAF says Thursday’s decision, which bypassed the usual bidding process, was driven by the popularity of track and field in the American market.

It says the financial support offered Oregon Governor Kate Brown and the United States Olympic Committee, as well as NBC’s commitment to produce and broadcast the event, led to the decision.

While cities usually compete to hold such events, the IAAF also awarded the 2007 world championships to Osaka, Japan, without opening it to bidding.

Eugene’s bid last November to host the 2019 world championships was not successful.

Memoirs of a Fisherman’s Wife

A book about balancing the demands of a law career, a family and life as a commercial fisherman’s wife and partner will be examined next week at Siuslaw Public Library.

Michele Longo Eder moved to Oregon in the 1970s to attend law school after reading Ken Kesey’s novel “Sometimes a Great Notion”.

She married commercial fisherman Bob Eder and the two raised two sons. One of those sons, Ben, died with three others when the Eder’s fishing vessel, the Nesika, capsized in 2001.

Six years later, Eder wrote “Salt in Our Blood: the Memoir of a Fisherman’s Wife”. It received the WILLA Literary Award for non-fiction in 2009.

Eden will speak at the Siuslaw Public Library Tuesday, April 21st at two pm. It’s free and open to the public.