Auctions Could Impact Lakes – Voter Intimidation Continues – Austa Rail Crossing Maintenance Postponed

Future Auctions Could Impact Local Lakes

A real estate auction next month could have a profound impact on lake levels in Siltcoos Lake.

 (Jamie Mills 3) “The reality is that if they take the dams out there would be some major changes on Siltcoos Lake.” 

 Dunes City Administrator Jamie Mills said the online auction, November 16th includes water rights and two dams.  One of the dams is on Tahkenitch Lake, the other on Siltcoos.  In addition to the dams and accompanying water rights, the former International Paper Mill site in Gardiner is on the block.  All are being marketed for possible industrial use.  But, the two dams are being offered up separately for possible mitigation or conservation mitigation.

 (Jamie Mills 2) “The concern is if a politically powerful organization that likes to take out dams acquires the property, where are we then?”

  Realty Marketing/Northwest is conducting the sale.  The mill site and the dams are estimated at a minimum of just over 15-million dollars.   


Officials investigating possible voter intimidation

Lane County Elections officials have reached out to the Secretary of State in response to a local complaint related to the ballot drop off box in front of the Florence Justice Center. County Clerk Dena Dawson said it happened late last week.

(Dena Dawson 2) “We have had one person contact our office. There was a photo taken of them while they were dropping off their ballot.”

The act of taking the photograph itself is not illegal according Dawson. However…

(Dena Dawson 3) “It could be considered intimidation and this person did feel intimidated and so we have elevated that to the Secretary of State’s office.”

The identity of the person making the complaint has not been made public.


Railroad Crossing Maintenance Postponed

Scheduled maintenance on a railroad crossing over a Lane County road east of Florence has been postponed.  Austa Road and the Austa Covered Bridge near milepost 26 on Highway 126 had been slated for closure from October 31st through November 15th.  When the work is rescheduled, the closures will be during daytime hours and the alternative route will be Richardson Road.