Florence City Council to hear garbage rate proposals

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Garbage Hauler Business Fees Expected to increase:

The Florence City Council will hear testimony this evening on proposed rate adjustments and rules that apply to waste haulers in the city.

A recent study of the city’s regulations governing garbage companies, along with an evaluation of the two companies’ profit structure, have led to the possible revisions.

Rates are heavily regulated by the city with the aim of keeping the profit margins of the two companies close to ten percent.

According to the report, last year’s combined profit margin was just under 15-percent.  That’s leading to the proposal that would increase business license fees while having minimal effect on customer rates.

The proposal calls for increasing the business license fee five times… from a combined $9,400 this year to more than $50-thousand next year.  City Planning Director Wendy Farley-Campbell said nearly all of that money would be directed to the city’s street fund.

If approved by the City Council, the new rates would go into effect July 1st.

Firefighters credited with save:

Siuslaw Valley Firefighters weren’t able to prevent heavy smoke and heat damage to a home north of Florence last week, but Fire Chief Jim Langborg said it was a very good “save” nonetheless.

Jim Langborg – “Fire started in the garage.  The structure for the most part was intact, so, the crews did a good job of getting a handle on it, but the smoke and heat damage… and there was some water damage.”

Langborg said crews were able to confine the heat and fire damage mainly to the garage, saving the structure itself.

The home, on North Leavage Drive in the Sutton Lake Area was a rental.  Langborg did not release the name of the occupants or the owner.

Feeding the need of the hungry in Florence

Nearly three dozen local businesses and organizations will be participating in the third annual “Feed the Need” fund drive this month.  Florence Food Share Director Norma Barton said beginning today, collection barrels will be placed at many different locations.

The most needed items on the shelves right now are peanut butter; canned chili or stew; Macaroni and Cheese; canned fruit and other staples.  She also said baby formula is welcomed… and needed.

Barton said non-perishable food can be left in the collection barrels, or you are always welcome to drop off cash or checks at Food Share on Spruce Street, just behind Grocery Outlet.

Lottery scam brings warning

The Oregon Lottery is warning people of a scam that’s being perpetrated in their name.

One person called the Lottery to report she had been told by a caller that she had won a $75-million jackpot and a Mercedes Benz.

All the woman had to do to claim her prize was provide personal information to the caller.

That’s not how it works says Lottery spokesman Chuck Baumann.  “Luckily”, he said, “the player recognized the caller was asking for an unusual level of personal information and ended the call”.

The Oregon Lottery does not keep track of individual buyers of tickets… so there’s no way to call and notify someone they have won.  Bauman said a good test if you get a call like that… “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Highway right of way off limits to political signs

Ballots for the May 17th primary election will be mailed out at the end of this month and campaigns for a number of contested races and ballot measures are heating up.

That means it’s a good time to remind people that campaign signs are not allowed in highway rights of way.

Dave Thompson only official traffic control signs are devices are allowed in state highway rights of way.  Improperly placed signs will be removed, he said, without notice and held at a local Oregon Department of Transportation district maintenance office for 30 days.

The signs are prohibited on trees, fence posts, utlity poles and natural features… and within the view of some designated scenic areas.

Thompson said temporary political signs on private property, but within view of the state highways, are allowed with some restrictions.