Siuslaw River Boardwalk

Council Passes Agenda; Inns Receive Recognition; Move to 70% is Slow; New Cases of COVID-19

Council Passes Agenda

At last night’s City Council meeting the Florence City Council passed all considered action items unanimously except for Ordinance No. 11 Series 2021 which passed 4-1 with counselor Maggie Wisniewski being the dissenting vote.  Ordinance 11 extends the previously approved land use decisions for a year due to hardship during COVID-19 restrictions.  It allows land owners and builders the opportunity to have more time to begin projects.  City Manager Erin Reynolds says there have been many obstructions during the pandemic that makes this ordinance pertinent.  More so than just the pandemic.

“Add in the fires, add in a lot of money out there in the economy from all the stimulus and incentive packages.”

Other approved items included an extension of the city’s agreement with entrepreneurial support program, Regional Accelerator and Innovation Network (RAIN), and the authorization of application for the re-designation of the Florence Enterprise Zone to support business activity. To be eligible to receive enterprise zone exemption status, businesses must create new full time jobs, must not create job losses within 30 miles of the zone, and must hire locally.  A map of the enterprise zone is available under meeting information in the Florence City Council meeting items at ci.florence.or.us.

Inns Receive Recognition

Two locally owned Inns in Florence have received 2021 Trip Advisor Traveler’s Choice awards, placing them in the top 10 percent of hospitality businesses world-wide according to Hoagland Properties President Ron Moore. River House Inn has received the award 11 times and Old Town Inn 10. Moore says that Florence is a great place to be a business owner, but, he says, the award couldn’t have happened without his staff

“It’s just wonderful that we have staff and guest that provide us an opportunity to provide a great place to stay here in Florence.”

Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Move to 70% is Slow

As the month moves along and we slowly approach the 4th of July holiday, there is still some concern that the state will not make the 70% goal in time.  Over the past three days the state has only gained .2 percent towards the goal.  Currently 68.7 percent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of the vaccine.  Governor Kate Brown had hoped that incentives above ending the pandemic would encourage more people to receive the COVIDE-19 vaccination, but it has been a slow process to convince the remaining population.  At the same time the state has begun decreasing the amount of vaccination clinics and has been relying on many private clinics and hospital entities to continue the drive.  Yesterday Governor Brown visited a school in Portland that was having a clinic and passed out items like grocery store gift cards and Portland Trail blazers t-shirts.  Brown said select sites this week will be handing out more gift cards for individuals.  She says about 45,000 people still need to be vaccinated to reach the goal.

New Cases of COVID-19

In Lane County there were 13 new cases reported on a day where the state had its first report below 100 in quite some time.  Cases in the Florence area continue to pop up from time to time and one more case was added to the list yesterday making the total 258 individuals since the beginning of the pandemic.  Another concern associated with COVID-19 is with weather.  With conditions in the valley expected to near 100 this weekend the coast can expect an influx of visitors trying to escape sweltering conditions with milder temperatures and sun predicted for the coast.