Possible Contaminants; Bottle and Can Drive; Port Seeking Input; COVID-19 Update

Possible Contaminants

The public is cautioned to avoid contact with river water 1,000 feet upstream and downstream from the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant and to thoroughly cook any shellfish harvested in the immediate vicinity. Over the past couple of days Florence Wastewater Treatment Plant Operators have discovered possible contaminants in the wastewater stream. Public Works Director Mike Miller says tracking down the chemical agent is difficult. Water samples are being processed by an outside laboratory to help determine the contaminant or level of toxicity of the agent causing the disruption. The contaminant readings have hampered treatment staff’s ability to accurately test for enterococcus bacteria. This puts the plant at risk of higher levels of the bacteria being discharged into the river than the DEQ National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit stipulates. Miller is hopeful that the chemical agent was an accidental release, but if you have witnessed anyone dumping chemicals, paints, herbicides or pesticides into the sewer call Florence Public Works at 541-997-4106 or Florence Police Department at 541-997-3515.

Bottle and Can Drive

Habitat for Humanity is looking for your used bottles and cans. The drive through donation event will be May 29 from 10-2 pm in the front parking lot of ReStore, 2016 Highway 101. Volunteers will be on hand to collect redeemable bottles and cans directly from your vehicle. If you cannot make the drive-through event you can leave your deposit cans and bottles at any time in the collection containers located behind the building, access off of Spruce Street. For more information contact Ivy at the Florence Habitat for Humanity office 541-902-9227 or Visit Habitat online at www.florencehabitat.org.

Port Seeking Input

After a series of delays—due to the Covid pandemic and earlier changes in management—The Port of Siuslaw is fast-tracking meetings and looking for general community input for its 5-year Strategic Business Plan. While critical stakeholders have been identified and contacted, the Port is now encouraging general stakeholders to go to portofsiuslaw.com and to fill out the public survey. Port Manager David Huntington says the process is now being accelerated and a series of public meetings are being planned over the summer. Interested parties should watch the port website for upcoming meeting times.

COVID-19 Update

Lane County reported 30 new cases of COVID-19 on Monday and no new cases for Florence.  The 7 day running average remains at 30 per day.  Lane County is also inching up on the vaccination percentages to 61.3 % which was .8 of a percentile from the previous reporting on Sunday.  Statewide there is still a ways to go before the goal of 70% is reached.  What the numbers do not show is that some federal sites have not yet been included in the data which could be a significant change to the numbers.

New risk level changes are expected from the governor’s office today.  The recent cases accumulated over the weekend in Lane County could mean that the county has not yet reached a lower level of risk, but currently sits right on the cusp of moderate.