Mural Permit Passes 3-2; Construction Updates; Triathalon Volunteers

Mural Permit Passes 3-2

After three and a half hours of testimony in support and opposition of the proposed mural on the Central Lincoln PUD maintenance building, the city council closed the public portion of the meeting to discuss the options.  Last night’s city council meeting began with some recognitions and then immediately moved to the public hearing.  City Recorder Kelli Weese explained the process for public comments and then city attorney, Ross Williamson asked the city council and Mayor Joe Henry if there were any conflicts of interest and if they had any bias or one sided conversations concerning the planned mural.  The councilors agreed that it was difficult not to have had any ex parte conversations since they had been inundated with comments by the public, but all stated that conversations of that nature were redirected through proper channels.  Planning Director, Wendy Farley Campbell then took about 30 minutes to explain the recommendations of the city staff with 4 options including approval of the permit, approval of the permit with recommended staff changes, and continuing the hearing.

Several speaker spoke in support of the project including a comment from Siuslaw high school junior Analee Griffes who gave a youthful perspective

“I know a lot of kids my age enjoy the mural, because it is new and fresh and exciting and something kids here have never seen before.”

Griffes said the kids of Florence have a great desire to experience different cultures and forms of art and in her opinion this mural represented that.  The council also heard from representatives from Central Lincoln PUD and the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians in support of the Mural.  At the two hour mark Mayor Joe Henry suggested a 10 minute break.

After a short break the meeting continued and members of the audience in opposition to the mural got their chance to speak, with several of them stating that it was unfair that they had to wait until all of the proponents were done before they got a chance to be heard as the time drew long.  Realtor and business owner Brian Jagoe was the first in opposition to speak.  Jagoe said he believed that the placing of the Mural at this location could become a hazard as the intersection is already known to be dangerous and it could pose a hazard from gawkers.

“I just don’t think this is the proper location for this art.  There might be others in town where it would fit, but not this location.”

At approximately 9pm, council comments were completed and the issuing of the permit came down to a role call vote.

“Councilor Lucio…”nay”…Councilor Priesler…”yay”…Councilor Woodbury..”yay”…Councilor Green…”yay”….Mayor Henry…”Nay”…motion passes 3-2.

According to councilor Woodbury it came down to the permit application fulfilling all of the requirements within, and not an issue of design.

Construction Updates

Road construction north of Fred Meyer on Highway 101 is moving quickly. The addition of sewer services on the east side of the highway was completed yesterday and now crews will move to the west side.  Construction is expected to take about another 2 weeks.  All the while crews are also moving quickly on the revision Florence streetscape.  City Manager Erin Reynolds.

“We’re making some great progress, very thankful for the great dry, warm weather. A lot of curbs have been poured, some driveway ramps have been poured.”

Reynolds says people that want to stay up on the progress can visit the city’s website or follow the progress on facebook.

Triathalon Volunteers

The 7th annual Oregon Dunes Triathalon and dualathon is slated for June 8th and Dunes City is looking for volunteers to help staff the race venue.  Volunteer shifts will be 3 ½ hours each and begin at 6am on race day.  Interested parties can contact Dunes City Hall for more information or to register for a volunteer position.