Proposed Bond Exceeds 108 Million; Public Help Sought in Bond Education; Military Museum Celebrates Three Years; FURA to Look at Revision Options

Proposed Bond Exceeds 108 Million

The Proposed bond for Siuslaw Schools will top out at  nearly 109 million dollars.  Currently the Bond Advisory Committee is working on presentations for the public on the breakdown of the costs but approximate numbers provide a look at the up and down side of building a new school.  Construction for a new high school comes in at just over 88 million dollars which includes construction of the school, site improvements and demolition of the old building.  Additional monies included will cover repairs at the middle school, modifications of the elementary school and some seismic upgrades to existing structures.  The current middle school bond expires in 2019 at a current cost to taxpayers of .90 per 1000 dollars of assessed property values.  The bond originated at a cost of 1.67 per 1000 assessed value.  The new bond would increase that rate by 1.05 which would bring the new cost to 2.72 cents per 1000 in property values.  The new high school will be outfitted with state of the art technological advances as well as spaces for career learning that could in the future be shared with Lane Community College for continuing and advanced career training.

Public Help Sought in Bond Education

The next step to getting the bond issue passed in November is help from the public.  The Bond Advisory committee will be meeting every Thursday at 5:30 this summer to create presentations and get the word out, but Suzanne Mann-Heintz says there is more requested from the public.

“What we really need now from the community is some community members who are interested in forming the Political Action Committee who will actually take the campaign piece and go with it.”

Mann-Heintz says that the success of the bond will depend on educating the public to the benefits of the new school and how it will positively impact the community.  While there has been some feedback surrounding the cost she says that there has been a lot of positive public support.  The new bond figures are less than originally sought, but some concessions on size and design have brought the figure to the current 108,700 million dollar price tag.

Military Museum Celebrates Three Years

The Oregon Coast Military Museum will host its third anniversary celebration on Saturday July 7th in conjunction with the Wings and Wheels event at the airport.  Admission is one dollar and doors open at 10 am.  in addition to new displays that will be unveiled there will be a civil war historian, Dave Burkett and music from the Old Time Fiddlers Association.  Food will be served too from Pops Smokehouse and Hukilau restaurant.

FURA to Look at Revision Options

The Florence Urban Renewal Agency will meet Wednesday evening at 5:30 at the Florence Event Center.  The main agenda item is to review the status of the Revision Florence Project and determine the next steps and options for the engineering and construction contract.  Two bids were officially refused by the Oregon Department of Transportation due to massive cost overruns partly because of ODOT construction limits on highway 101.  ODOT has restrictions on lane closures on 101 and were requiring a lot of the work to be done overnight which skyrocketed cost projections.  ODOT has since considered relaxing some of the regulations to allow for more daytime work which FURA hopes will encourage more contractors.  Construction was slated to begin in August and now the earliest that it might begin is November.  The later start date, according to City Manager Erin Reynolds, could also mean more bids as winter is generally a slower time for construction and more companies will be encouraged to keep their workforce busy.