Council to Consider Options for Open Seat
The Florence City Council in their morning work session will consider the options for appointing a city councilor to fill the position vacated by Geraldine Prociw. Prociw’s term was to last until 2022 and in a letter to the city council; City Manager Erin Reynolds reviewed the process by which a new councilor could be appointed. Responding to questions she received since the resignation, Reynolds cleared up some apparent confusion. According to Reynolds, based on the city charter, the position would not have come up on the ballot for November even if the resignation had been received prior to the filing deadline. A new city councilor will also have to be approved by a majority of the remaining councilors also and cannot be left up to the sitting Mayor. According to the City Charter, the position could also remain vacant until December of 2022.
The coronavirus pandemic continues to loom over Oregon as 769 new cases have been reported. The Friday through Sunday count included 6 new deaths including one for Lane County. The 93 year old woman died on September 17th at her residence, she had underlying health conditions. Lane County has also reported 54 new cases over the same period with 85 cases currently considered infectious. Though the numbers sound high for Lane County and the State, the Oregon Health Authority released a report on Friday that says the instances of COVID-19 are still trending downward. The report also shows that each new case is generating less than one other new case and if that trend continues the daily average case count statewide could be at or below 190 by early October. These numbers are sensitive to very small changes according to OHA. For example, wildfires and poor air quality have decreased the availability of testing in hazard areas.
The Air Quality Index for Lane County continues to improve. Numbers are in a healthy range for Florence and Mapleton and much of the Eugene area has dropped below the 200 mark. The Holiday Farm Fire continues to burn, but the Oregon Department of Forestry is reports a 14% containment at this time. Many of the residents that have been evacuated have been allowed to return to their homes. ODF has not issued an update of structures lost, but more than half of the 1018 structures recognized have been completely destroyed at last count.
Recreation In Siuslaw Forest Begins to Open
The Siuslaw National Forest campgrounds and recreational areas are beginning to slowly open up. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is now open as is the staging area, but many local campgrounds are still closed. Cape Perpetua is closed including all viewing areas and the visitor center. Alder dune Campground and Archie Knowles campgrounds and Tahkenitch campgrounds all remain closed. For complete information there is a website set up by the Forestry Service. Fs.usda.gov/alerts/Siuslaw