Florence Voters to decide pot tax; deadline nearing for replacing health CO-OP coverage; Mercer Lake to get cellular boost; Pink Martini served up in Florence this fall; and Humane Society presenting animal rescue documentary

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Recreational pot tax to be on November ballot

Florence voters will be deciding on a new tax in the fall.

Erin Reynolds – “A local marijuana tax, for recreational only, not medical, and that will be something you’ll see on the ballot in November.”

City manager Erin Reynolds said City Councilors approved the referral of the measure last week.  It would levy three-percent on top of the state tax of 17-percent on marijuana sales in the city.

Reynolds said it’s too soon to tell just how much the tax would raise.  Recreational pot sales only began this year and there is not much historical information to go by.  Hopefully, she added, by late October there will be an idea of how much money might be realized by the tax.

Erin Reynolds – “The state will have had a couple quarters of early sales.”

Wording of the ballot title will go to Lane County for approval and inclusion on the November 8th ballot.  Reynolds said money raised from the tax would go into the city’s general fund.

July 31st deadline for replacing Oregon Health CO-OP

People insured under the Oregon Health CO-OP will need to find other coverage by the end of this month, but they won’t have to start all over on their deductibles and “out of pocket maximums”.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services put the financially struggling CO-OP in receivership last week.

All health plans end July 31st, forcing policy holders to find other coverage immediately.

DCBS Director Patrick Allen said they’ve been able to secure agreements with all other medical plan providers to honor the amounts that CO-OP members have already paid towards their deductibles.

Allen says individual members should go to Healthcare-dot-gov or work with their local insurance agent to enroll in a new plan in time for the deadline.

Cell phone boost headed for Mercer Lake area

Cell phone users north of Florence will likely soon get a boost to their service.

Lane County has received an application to construct a cell tower north of Mercer Lake on Spindrift Way.

The tower would be 140-feet tall and resemble an artificial evergreen according to the application submitted to Lane County by Verizon Wireless.

Because the tower would be in forest zoned land, a land-use hearing is required.  That will be held August 4th in Eugene at the Lane County Public Works Customer Service Center.

Port commission mulling liability requirements

Port of Siuslaw Commissioners will consider requiring liability insurance for boat owners who moor their vessels.  The requirement would extend to both commercial and recreational vessels.

Under a resolution under consideration by the commission Wednesday evening, all commercial vessels would be required to provide proof of insurance to cover wreck removal and salvage of up to $250-thousand… and $300-thousand for pollution.  Recreational vessels would be required to provide $100-thousand and $200-thousand limits for the same coverages.

The requirement has been brought up more than once in the past few years.  Port Manager Steven Leskin said it can be very expensive to clean up after a sunken vessel.  He added many other Oregon ports require the coverage.

Pink Martini to help celebrate Events Center 20th

The internationally acclaimed “little orchestra” Pink Martini will headline the upcoming season for Florence’s Seacoast Entertainment Association.

The band formed in 1994 under the direction of pianist and composer Thomas Lauderdale.  It has toured around the world and regularly features special guest artists at many stops.
Pink Martini will feature two shows in Florence, November 18th and 19th to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Florence Events Center.  Seacoast Entertainment and the Friends of the FEC are combining to produce the show.  Tickets go on sale August 1st tat the FEC Box Office.

Humane Society to present animal rescue documentary

The Oregon Coast Humane Society is bringing an award winning documentary to City Lights Cinemas this weekend.  It’s called “SMART: the Documentary” and it examines the impacts of the first small animal urban rescue team.  SMART stands for Specialized Mobile Animal Rescue Team.  The group is based on Los Angeles and will rescue any type of small animal.

SMART director Justin Zimmerman will be on hand for the showing and will present a talk immediately following the showing.  Oregon Coast Humane Society volunteers will also be on hand to answer any questions about the local humane society.

The showing cost $9 for adults, $7 for children.  It will be Saturday afternoon at 3:30.