Meeting Leaves Community Waiting
Some Florence citizens believe that they are being stonewalled when it comes to issues of Climate change. On March 30th there was to be a meeting of the EMAC committee that would be hearing testimony from a group that is in favor of having a subcommittee on climate change and global warming, of the 9 voting members on the committee, 5 were absent including the committee chair and vice-chair. The meeting was unable to move forward without a quorum, and was subsequently cancelled with several community members waiting to express their views. Written testimony from many community members are asking for the creation of a sustainability committee to address climate issues and while the committee has been instrumental in many forward thinking proposals including the banning of Styrofoam plastics, the letters from community members suggest that there is more to be done. At the end of the meeting, committee member Lisa Walter-Sedlacek asked planning director, Wendy Farley-Campbell if the people that have waited for the opportunity to be heard would still have the chance, Farley-Campbell acknowledged that community members could still go before the city council on Monday April 5, or on the following meeting on April 17 to express their views and concerns.
City Stimulus Money
The City of Florence is slated to get 1,865,284.00 in federal relief funds. The money is part of the covid relief bill passed by congress. The money is intended to help cover coronavirus type expenses as well as providing budget gaps created by the economic turndown. Assistant city Manager Megan Messmer says that since the initial announcement of the allocation of the funds they are still awaiting official communication from the State of Oregon on when and how the funds will be distributed. She says the published dollar amounts is still an estimate and the city has not currently received official confirmation. Messmer says that the League of Oregon Cities has had previous issues with other state allocations that may or may not change the Oregon Allocations. The funds are to be distributed in two separate amounts with the second following about a year after receipt of the first.
2 COVID-19 Cases for Florence
Two more cases of COVID-19 have been identified in the Florence Area bringing the total to 185 cases. Daily numbers in Lane County continue to be larger than they have over the past several weeks with an additional 46 cases announced. The Oregon Health Authority is also reporting that cases are on the rise across the state. The OHA says there was a 28% increase from the previous week. Hospitalizations and deaths were down from the previous week. In fact there were 10 reported covid-19 related deaths which is the lowest number since June.