Local Option Levy Up For Renewal
Voters will have to decide if they want to continue to fund essential school programs on November 7th. State funding for education has declined another 17 percent and that leaves Siuslaw Schools about 3 million dollars short of what the state considers the Quality Education Model. Or the amount of money necessary to fully fund programs. Local Option renewal measure 20-281 has been in place for several years now and provides over $900,000 to help pay for many extra programs. School Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak
“Well really we’re talking about automotive, computer sciences, culinary, actually a lot of our athletics get tied up in this.”
Grzeskowiak says the local option levy is a good way to have some control over the curriculum in the schools. The state views classes that provide life skills training as additional programming and are not a part of the requirements to graduate. But it helps keep kids motivated.
“Getting those kids to come back and see that there is a future beyond and getting them to work towards being self-sufficient.”
The current Local Option Levy will expire in July of 2019. It costs a taxpayer $150.00 per year on $200,000 assessed property value. The renewal will extend it through 2024.
Money Allocated For Fire Suppression
Representative Peter DeFazio is please with congresses move to including funding for wildfire suppression efforts. After wildfires burned over 700 thousand acres in Oregon this summer congress has allocated money in its budget for fire prevention practices and emergency firefighting needs. The practice of fire borrowing has been the norm over the years where money is diverted from forest service programs and funneled into firefighting efforts leaving forest health programs to suffer. DeFazio says he is happy for the additional funding that he has been fighting for. He says that the federal government needs to view fires like other natural disasters like hurricanes and tornados. According to Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue, 2017 has been the most expensive firefighting season on record.
Chamber Needs Volunteers
The Florence area chamber of commerce says they are in need of some smiling faces. Executive Director Bettina Hannigan.
“We Need Volunteers in the visitor’s center desperately, we’ve had several people move, we’ve had some health problems, and so we really need friendly happy people that want to come in and promote Florence.”
Hannigan says that any amount of four hour shifts a person can donate would be welcomed.
Port Meeting At Mapleton High School
The Port of Siuslaw will be holding its next regular meeting in Mapleton at Mapleton High School. The October 18th meeting will be at 7 pm for the purpose of encouraging local participation to surrounding communities that are affected by Port policy and regulations.