Florence City Council endorses high school levy

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Self proclaimed fiscal conservative says it will be good for Florence

The Florence City Council went on record this week as being in support of a 25-year bond levy that would pay for a new high school.  The action came after hearing a presentation last month from Superintendent Ethel Angal.  Then, Monday night, a school board member and chair of the Political Action Committee stumping for the levy followed up and asked for the support according to Mayor Joe Henry.

Joe Henry – “Eric Rines made a good presentation at our meeting.  He’s the chairman of the PAC for the bond issue.  His presentation was very short.  And the council agreed unanimously to take a position in support of the bond measure.”

Henry, usually a fiscal conservative, said he supported the levy personally because he felt it would be good overall for the community and assist in economic development activities.

Voters will decide the $36.9-million, 25-year levy on the May 17 ballot.

Lane County audit shows stability in finances

Despite the prospects of another decline in revenues and a tight budget in the next few years, Lane County Government’s financial health is “stable”.

That was the message presented to the Board of Commissioners this week by Lane County Performance Auditor Shanda (SHONN-duh) Miller.  Miller credits the stability to “sound financial and debt management practices and strategic financial planning”.  She added the declining revenues, growing expenses and aging assets continue to challenge the County’s long-term financial health.

East Lane Commissioner Faye Stewart called the report “impressive”, calling it “thorough, unbiased and based on established facts”.  He said Lane County has a low level of debt and has improved the ability of enterprise services… such as Waste Management… to generate revenue to sustain themselves.

Be wary of unprofessional and pushy callers claiming to be police

Callers identifying themselves as Lane County Sheriff’s deputies are once again telling people they have outstanding warrants for their arrest… and demanding money to clear them.

That’s not how law enforcement officers operate.

Sgt. Carrie Carver with the Sheriff’s Office says the calls are a scam and community members should hang up immediately.

Some clear tipoffs… callers who are unprofessional, pushy, use scare tactics… like threatening arrest if payment is not made immediately.

Carver says callers asking for payment through wire transfer, cash cards like “Green Dot”, or other non-trackable methods are clear signs of a scam.

She adds that if you are concerned the caller may be legitimate, hang up, but then call the particular agency back at their published phone number to verify.

Potential fraud calls should be reported to the Oregon Attorney General’s Consumer Hotline at 877-877-9392.

Boys and Girls Club cooks up nutrition

A new kitchen, installed recently at the Boys and Girls Club Teen Center means that organization is now providing hot meals at the end of the day to some kids who might not otherwise get that.

Chuck Trent – “We were able to get a grant from the Oregon Department of Education to help us put in a kitchen and get that certified, so now we’re able to serve a nutritious, hot, healthy meal every day at the club.”

Interim Executive Director Chuck Trent said because so many students in the area are eligible for free and reduced prices on school lunch and breakfast, they were able to get a $6-thousand grant to install the equipment.

Chuck Trent – “And then the other piece of it, quite frankly, is one of the key tenets of the Boys and Girls Club besides providing a safe place to learn and grow; is also a healthy lifestyle.  Part of a healthy lifestyle means that we teach these kids how to prepare healthy meals.”

In addition to battling “food insecurity”, Trent said the program will also take aim at helping prevent childhood obesity by instilling good habits.

Wildcat Covered Bridge set for rehab

The closest covered bridge to Florence will be closed for two-and-a-half months.  The Wildcat Creek Bridge at Austa, just off Highway 126, will undergo rehabilitation construction between April 18th and June 24th.

The bridge is visible from Highway 126 at the confluence of the Siuslaw River and Wildcat Creek.

Lane County spokesperson Devon Ashbridge said access to Richardson Upriver Road can be had by using Richardson Road itself, just a few miles west of Austa.