Council Rejects Homeless Shelter Proposal; Three Buttes Fire; School District Budget Committee; Microchip and Vaccine Clinic

Council Rejects Homeless Shelter Proposal

Last night the Florence City Council deliberated on the proposal of a 365 day a year homeless shelter which could provide alternatives for individuals that currently sleep on public property within the city of Florence.  Councilors were mixed on their reasons for and against it.  Councilor Sally Wantz noted that a roof over someone’s head should not be considered a luxury.

“And this proposed shelter will not be permanent solution.  It is meant to be a stepping stone to the next level for those who do the work to move up.”

Councilor Carp drew from his experience as a firefighter and police officer to offer his perspective.

“People can make their own choices on how they live but the addicted and mental health people need one thing.  Treatment, treatment, treatment.  When has it become the city and taxpayers responsibility to house people?”

After deliberation and discussion of the issue at length a motion was made by councilor Wantz to move forward with the approval process to allow the Emergency shelter to move forward, it was seconded by councilor Beaudreau.  It was then put to a vote.

“Councilor Carp, No, councilor Wantz, Yes, councilor Meyer, No, councilor Beaudreau, Yes, Mayor Ward, No.”

As the item failed a round of applause rose from the crowd, the council then moved to prohibit use of public property for the use of a shelter.  The motion was read by the city’s attorney Ross Williamson.

“I move to direct the City Manager to deny the request by FECWS to use city property for the proposed emergency shelter”

The motion was made by councilor Meyer and seconded by councilor Carp.  The vote was three to two with Mayor Ward breaking the tie.  Mayor Ward concluded the meeting by stating that they would at some point in the future have to address the situation.

“We’re gonna have to decide (how we’re) are we going to provide a place for people to camp.  If we do then we can tell them they can’t camp where we don’t want them to camp.”

Ward also voiced his displeasure at some of the community members that had said that the city council was just trying to push the measure through without the community’s input.

Three Buttes Fire

The Three Buttes Fire 15 miles northeast of Florence has grown to more than 70 acres according to the most recent reports available.  Officials are trying to minimize the footprint of the fire. A type 3 incident management team took command of the fire on Monday.  Matt House with Western Lane fire and EMS broke down the type 3 command structure.

“A Type # incident command structure is usually to manage initial fires with a significant amount of resources versus like a local department can handle.”

He says a type 3 is typical of a fire the size of the Three Buttes fire.  Were it to grow larger the option would be to move more resources and move to a type 2 or 1. The Three Buttes fire is approximately 5 miles due east of the Heceta Lighthouse.

School District Budget Committee

Applications are being accepted for two openings on the Siuslaw School District Budget Committee.  Terms for Megan Messmer and Jennifer Waggoner expired over the summer.  Messmer has already said that due to professional obligations she will not be reapplying.  Waggoner said she has not yet made up her mind.  Superintendent Andy Grzeskowiak told the board last week that he is bringing the vacancy and application process up earlier than in previous years as a way for directors to get to know any and all applicants.  If there are more than two, he suggests an informal meeting between the board and budget committee hopefuls.

“Let’s call it a budget committee social.  Talk to everybody and then get a little bit more than what’s on paper and that way you can get a better, more informed decision.”

Applications are being accepted at the 97-J district office through the close of business September 11th.

Microchip and Vaccine Clinic

The Oregon Coast Humane Society will be hosting another “microchip and vaccine clinic this Saturday.  Executive Director Elizabeth Thompson says the need in the community continues for pet vaccines and microchips.  “Our local veterinarian community is overwhelmed”, she says with requests from new patients.  It’s her hope that the clinic this weekend will help “lighten the stress”.  Microchips are just $40 and vaccines are $20 per shot.  It is by appointment only.  Thompson urges pet owners to call 541-997-4277, or stop at the shelter during business hours to register.