Water extension to aid fire protection; Bottle deposits to double; prevent careless fires; Congressman sets recess Town Hall schedule; 126 delays through the fall; Suddenly in Command

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Munsel Lake Road water extension to aid fire protection

Several different public works projects are already underway… or will start soon.  One of those is an enlargement of the water system capacity to the neighborhood at the east end of Munsel Lake Road at North Fork.  Florence Public Works Director Mike Miller:

Mike Miller – “We have a house being built out there that is under served, especially in regards to fire protection.  They have paid their fair share of the money to extend water and sewer and the city’s going to go in and actually complete the project.”

The current line is insufficient…

Mike Miller – “It’s only a two inch and so we’ll be putting in a eight inch in.  We’ll have plenty of fire capacity, we’ll have at least 1500 gallons a minute which is a standard fire capacity.”

Miller said in addition to serving the new home and the possibility of two others that could be built there, it will also provide increased water for fire protection of all homes in the immediate area.

Bottle deposits to double next year

No fooling… Oregon’s bottle deposits will double from a nickel to ten cents on April 1st, 2017.

After two years of low bottle return rates, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission took action last week to increase the deposit fee.  A legislative mandate set several years ago requires the OLCC, which regulates bottle and can returns in Oregon, to increase the rates when the return rate drops below 80-percent for two consecutive years.

According to data provide by the industry, the return rate last year was just under 65-percent.  In 2014 it was just over 68-percent.

The agency will work with retailers and bottle return facilities over the next eight months to make the transition a smooth one.

Deposits are required on containers of three-liters or less of Beer and Malt Beverages; Carbonated Soft Drinks; Soda Water or Mineral Water; and plain or flavored water.

Prevent wildfires

Oregonians are being encouraged to do all that they can to prevent careless wildfires.  It’s everyone’s responsibility according to fire officials.

Fire danger is on the rise, as evidenced this weekend by the large grass and range fire burning in Gilliam County in Northeast Oregon.  Already this year there have been 19 large wildfires in the state… 15 of those were human caused.

Kevin Martin with the U.S. Forest Service is the director of Fire and Aviation for the Pacific Northwest.  He said anyone found responsible for starting a fire… even if it’s an accident… can be held responsible for fire suppression costs.

Congressman sets town hall schedule

Fourth District Congressman Peter DeFazio will be hosting 16 different town hall meetings in his district during the August recess.  The first will be August 4th, one PM at Reedsport City Hall.  He will make five more stops along the south coast over the next two days before heading inland August 15th.  DeFazio will be in Linn and Benton Counties for three meetings that day, then back to Springfield on the 16th.

August 17th the Democrat lawmaker will be in Florence from ten to 11 at Siuslaw Public Library, then back in Eugene that evening.

He will wrap up his schedule with an I-5 South run beginning Monday the 29th… beginning in Cottage Grove and ending in Roseburg.  In between he’ll make stops in Canyonville and Grants Pass.

126 delays to continue into fall

Several weeks of maintenance and repaving on Highway 126 begin today.  Through the end of October, drivers on the Florence-Eugene highway should expect delays of up to 20-minutes as single lane closures will be put in place.

Seven miles of highway will be repaved… all of it in the eastern end around Noti.  But, crews will also be working on replacing or adjusting signs and guard rails.

Some work in and around Veneta will cause delays as well.

Suddenly in Command

A friend or a neighbor invites you to go fishing with them on their boat… and something happens to them while you’re underway… would you know what to do to get the vessel safely back to shore?

The U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary is offering a three hour class next week that will help you answer that question.

It’s called “Suddenly in Command” and it is designed to help anyone become familiar with the essential safety information so they can assess and stabilize a situation, operate the vessel, and summon any required assistance.

The three hour course on Saturday, July 30th is free, but space is limited and preregistration is required.  To do that, call Jonathon Yoder at 541-991-1181.