Oct. 9, 2019 — Monday evening’s Florence City Council meeting began with the reading of two proclamations by Mayor Joe Henry. The first was in recognition of October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the second acknowledged October as Arts and Humanities Month.
Bob Teter, Executive Director of Siuslaw Outreach Services, along with other community members that assist victims of domestic violence accepted the first proclamation from a somber Henry, who was clearly moved by the issue as he read the proclamation.
The mayor then presented representatives from arts-related organizations, including the Public Art Committee, the Florence Regional Arts Alliance and the library, with the second proclamation, which emphasized the important role the arts play in many aspects of life.
Public comments followed with support for the arts expressed by residents, as well as concern over the impact homelessness has on members of the community.
There were also comments that suggested Florence has not taken seriously the depth and breadth of the homeless issue.
Next was the consent agenda for the evening, which included three items for councilors to consider. The first was a request for authorization of the City Manager Erin Reynolds to renew the commercial ground lease for the Oregon Coast Military Museum (OCMM), located at 2145 Kingwood St.
The current lease would be extended for 10 years at the rate of $350.48 per month, with an additional 10-year option available to OCMM at the expiration of this new lease agreement.
The second consent item was for consideration of the signing of a contract between the city and attorney Floyd Prozanski to provide prosecutorial services for the Florence Municipal Court. Prozanski has been under contract at the rate of $65 per hour, which would be increased to $75 an hour primarily to align the rate with that paid to the public defender.
The third consent item was a request for approval and issuance of a new liquor license to Dunesday Gaming, located at 375 Laurel St.
All three consent items were passed unanimously with little discussion.
Action items followed, beginning with a brief presentation made by Public Works Director Mike Miller, who was seeking final approval for the purchase of odor control equipment for the city’s Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Miller had budgeted $150,000 for the purchase of the equipment, which had been approved by the council, but recommended accepting a lower bid of $97,900 from Pedroni and Company. The lack of options for purchase and installation of the equipment was also mentioned by Miller as a partial reason for his recommendation.
“The equipment needed for this project is very specialized. You can’t just run down to say, True Value and pick up this equipment, it is very specialized — so it is difficult to find suitable folks to handle the installation,” Miller said.
The acceptance of Miller’s recommendation, which was soon forthcoming, would mean the anti-odor project would come in significantly under budget, saving taxpayers approximately $45,000.
The amending of the city’s contract with Municipal Court Judge Richard Brissenden was next on the agenda and both Henry and Councilor Woodbury spoke in favor of extending the city’s agreement with the judge.
“As far as I can remember, in the last two or three years, we have received no complaints about our court. It is run very effectively and efficiently, and I think we get the maximum from the staff that works there... and our judge also handles the county courts, so there is some synergy between the two,” Henry said.
Woodbury also spoke highly of the work being done at the Florence Municipal Court.
“I have spent a lot of time, along with Councilor Preisler, doing audits on how the court behaves and how it is managed, and we were both very satisfied with the performance of the court. The volume they carry is quite high and I think we are really getting our money’s worth.”
The contract of Brissenden was then amended to include a 1.5 percent increase in salary with travel expenses remaining the same.
The monthly reports from staff and councilors was last on the agenda and the report from Reynolds highlighted what she considers the great work done by Florence’s Public Works Department.
Reynolds then invited the public to Thursday’s Public Works Day event at the Public Work facility which is located at 2675 Kingwood St.
Councilors Geraldine Lucio and Woodbury, along with Mayor Henry, gave brief but highly positive reports regarding their attendance at the recent League of Oregon Cities Conference. Councilor Joshua Greene wrapped up the meeting by commenting on the positive progress made at the day’s earlier joint work session, held with the City Council and members of the Public Art Committee in attendance.
The next City Council meeting is tentatively scheduled for Monday, Oct. 28, beginning at 5:30 p.m.