City Council; Summer Food Benefits for Children; Recruitment Process Review

City Council

The Florence City Council will meet twice this evening. First at 4pm in executive session to continue a discussion on real property transactions, this meeting will be closed to the public.  Then at 5:30 the council will have its regular meeting which will include a proposal to sell a portion of city property which is located to the northwest of the justice center in Greenwood Street.  The two parcels would be used to create a planned unit development.  The property is currently undeveloped, but the city recently received a grant that would allow for a development of city water and sewer to the properties in the area.  The proposed Elm Hill PUD would consist of an affordable rental complex along with an early learning and childcare center.  There will first be a public hearing followed by a proposal to consider the sale of the property. Also on the city agenda is a proposal to move forward on a project that first was discussed in 2022.  The city had planned to shore up portions of the Siuslaw river to protect city infrastructure and adjacent private property along a portion of the river.  With recent rains the city will look to get the project underway at a cost of between 800,000 and 1 million dollars.  The plan for this evening is to amend a contract with RH2 Engineering to finalize design.  If approved, bids for the project are expected to go out in July with construction to begin in September and conclude in October.

Summer Food Benefits for Children

Oregon is participating in a federal food benefits program for children called Summer E-B-T. Dollars from the program will go even farther to purchase produce through the Double Up Food Bucks program. The Oregon Legislature approved the state’s participation in the Summer E-B-T program, making nearly 300-thousand children eligible to receive 40 dollars for food each month over the summer. Mason Durfee with Oregon Food Bank says the additional benefits can be used for the Double Up Food Bucks program.

“Essentially, that increases their total monthly budget that they have, but also what’s really cool about Summer EBT is any of the Summer EBT benefits can also be used to earn Double Up, because they’re just being treated as additional SNAP dollars on someone’s card.”

The Double Up Food Bucks program allows participants with benefits through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to buy fresh produce and have the dollars they spend matched, essentially doubling their purchasing power.

Recruitment Process Review

The Florence City Council will review and consider approving the board recruitment process at this evening’s city council meeting.  It covers city committees, commission and board recruitment.  In the past the city has conducted interviews for the Florence Urban Renewal Agency and the Planning Commission. If the current process is continued interviews would be conducted on May 9th of this year.