Council Approves Annexation
The Florence City council has passed the ordinance approving the annexation of the Benedick Holdings, LLC and the rezoning of the 48.82 acres to a low density residential area. Some concerns were raised by councilor Meyer regarding the city’s liability in the event that engineering proposals did not pan out after construction begins. City Attorney Ross Williamson said that due diligence in determining engineering studies and having them independently verified, leaves little room for liability by the city. After discussion the city moved towards a vote on two separate ordinances, one establishing the annexation and the second rezoning the acreage to a low density residential. Both ordinances passed with a 4-1 vote with councilor Wisniewski being the dissenting vote on both ordinances. The city then moved toward a discussion of the State of Emergency declaration. Councilor Wisneiwski asked that the dates be changed to an earlier date of May 15th with the understanding that by that date most of Florence would likely be vaccinated. City Manager Erin Reynolds, said as a part of clarification that the changing of dates alone would not necessarily mean that residents would be vaccinated and that supply was still an unknown. The council moved forward and approved the declaration as written to an extension of June 8, 2021
Numbers Climb Countywide
If it were not for the Governor’s two week moratorium on moving counties risk levels, Lane County would be moving back to the moderate level of risk and would be forced to return to more restrictions. Numbers of the coronavirus have been inching up over the past two weeks after record low numbers allowed the county to move to a low risk level. Yesterday Lane County reported 29 new cases of COVID-19. Concerns are that the numbers will continue to rise as better weather creates more travel opportunities to the coastal area. Health officials warn that dropping our guard at this point would likely lead to another surge in cases. There were no new cases added to the Florence numbers yesterday, and the state reported 248 new cases
Show and Shine Possible
The Rods and Rhodys group are hopeful that they will be able to have the annual Show and Shine associated with Rhody Days. The group agreed to schedule the event for the 15th of May. They will have to move the event as the property where it is normally held was made unavailable due to concerns of the economic impact felt by businesses in the strip mall at 21st and highway 101. The group is planning on moving the event to the Siuslaw Middle School and is currently awaiting approval from the city. The Board of the Rods and Rhody’s have initiated a COVID-19 safety plan, but Gary Cargill the board president, says the plan is based on the county being at a low risk level for COVID-19. The event brings in about 200 cars annually.