County Commission ponders solid waste savings; Mural Code could be scrapped; Port Commission to meet in Mapleton; Coast Guard searching for missing kayaker

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Waste Transfer station closures unlikely

Lane County Commissioners aren’t expected to take final action until next week on a report that suggests closing eight of the 16 solid waste transfer sites around the county.  West Lane Commissioner Jay Bozievich says they discussed it earlier this week, but didn’t have a lot of time.

Jay Bozievich – “We’re still gathering feedback, but I will say that the proposal to close the transfer stations did seem to, uh, not be one of the most popular recommendations amongst the commissioners.”

He said it’s not likely that all eight stations recommended for closure will be shut down.  But, he added, there is one that may be cut… the one east of Mapleton on Highway 126.

Jay Bozievich – “Partly because I’m hearing from residents that the actual entrance is in a dangerous location along 126.  And it’s the least used-highest cost transfer station in the entire system.”

Closure of eight transfer sites would save an estimated $500-thousand a year.  That’s one-third of the $1.5-million needed to ensure enough cash to continue operating Short Mountain Landfill beyond 2025.  The other million dollars would come from other cost saving moves at the county’s Glenwood transfer and recycling center as well as at the landfill itself.

Commissioners will discuss the matters again next week.  Bozievich said the additional savings would have to be found elsewhere.

Mural Code could be scrapped

The Florence Public Art Committee will meet again Monday in their drive to use the arts as an economic development tool.  Committee Chair Harlen Springer says it’s important.

Harlen Springer – “So art can really have impact by people coming to look at it; people buying things while they’re in town.  So that’s what we’re trying to do.  We’re trying to create a community that people want to come and view the art and participate in the economy while they’re here.”

Committee members will talk about the likelihood of scrapping the city’s current mural regulations.  Legal counsel has said there are many provisions that may be considered an infringement on free speech.  Instead, the committee is discussing possible financial incentives to create and place public art around the community.

The committee meets Monday, at city hall, from ten am to noon.

Port Commission to meet in Mapleton

The Port of Siuslaw Commission will hold another regular meeting outside of their headquarters building in Florence.  August 17th, the Commission will conduct their regular monthly meeting at Mapleton High School.  The meeting is set to start at seven pm that evening.  The final agenda is not yet determined, but the Commission is expected to hold a private, executive session at some point during the evening to discuss pending real estate transactions and the Port Manager’s performance.

Steven Leskin was hired earlier this year and recently completed his first six months on the job.

The Commission meets the third Wednesday of each month, usually at the Port of Siuslaw Office on Harbor Street.  In May of this year they met in Blachly.  (BLATCH-lee)

Coast Guard leading search for missing kayaker

A search is underway along a 20-miles stretch of ocean between Heceta Head and Waldport for a missing kayaker.

The U.S. Coast Guard received a report around Noon Thursday of a kayak washed ashore at the Alsea Bay inlet.  They linked the registration number on the kayak to experienced kayaker Michael Carosella.

His wife told authorities her 69-year old husband left at 7 a.m. and was expected home at noon.

Multiple agencies are searching.

Mariners and beachgoers are being urged to keep an eye out for a wooden kayak paddle or anything else that might assist search efforts.