New Sheriff to be Chosen; Fireworks in Jeopardy?; New Courthouse?

New Sheriff to be Chosen

The Lane County Board of Commissioners is conducting interviews today to fill the position of Lane County Sheriff vacated by the retirement of Sheriff Byron Trapp.  Trapp announced his retirement last week and will leave office on April 16th.  Two candidates are being interviewed for the position.  Edward O. Ethell, retired police chief from La Palma, California and the current chief Deputy of the Lane County sheriff’s department, Cliff Harrold.  Trapp’s term of office was through 2020.  Voters will then decide on a permanent sheriff.  The board of commissioners will meet in open session for their meeting and interviews and then move to executive session to discuss the candidates.  They are expected to have a decision sometime during the day today.

Fireworks in Jeopardy?

Bettina Hannigan with the Florence area chamber of commerce has announced that the barge that normally is used for the 4th of July fireworks show is no longer available and the port property that has also been used in the past now holds camping spaces that are already reserved.  Hannigan is concerned that without the proper venue they may not be able to continue the annual tradition.  The cost of fireworks alone, according to Hannigan is $18,000.  Fireworks require a 500 foot radiance clearance with no structures or trees.  A barge required for setting them off would have to be no smaller than a 20×50 foot barge.  Hannigan says that there are no local barges available, so one would have to be brought in at a cost that has not been budgeted.

New Courthouse?

A measure on the May 2019 ballot for Lane County is an authorization of a bond for $154 million dollars to construct a new Lane County Courthouse.  If approved the bond would be combined with $94 million dollars in state funding and an additional 4 million in state funding.  The cost to taxpayers would be a .27 cent per $1000 assessed value on their property.  The county is citing safety and functionality issues with the current building as a reason for the new courthouse.  A public forum is being planned for the Florence Event Center on Wednesday, April 17th. at 10 am.  County commissioner, Jay Bozievich will speak at the forum and explain the needs for the construction.  The public is invited.