May 8, 2019 — The Florence City Council meeting on May 6 was held with a full house in attendance as proclamations and moments of public recognition filled the early part of the evening.
Mayor Joe Henry opened the meeting by welcoming the noticeably mixed-age crowd, then made certificate presentations to the 2019 Rhododendron Court and the “If I Were Mayor” contest winners.
Next, Henry proclaimed May as Florence Bike Month, citing the many advantages that cycling can provide to individuals, as well as the benefits to the local economy.
Another proclamation from Henry declared May 18 to 24 as Safe Boating Week. It was presented to US Coast Guard Station Siuslaw River and members of the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Afterwards, city councilors accepted a commemorative coin from Senior Chief Jay Nilles, Officer-in-Charge at Station Siuslaw River. Nilles thanked the community and city for the efforts made to support Coast Guardsmen during the federal shutdown earlier this year, and of the positive impact those efforts made on the members of his team.
Nilles also presented a letter of appreciation to Henry and members of the larger Florence community from Rear Admiral D.G. Throop, Commander of the 13th Coast Guard District, thanking them for their support.
“Thanks for your steadfast and continued commitment to the Coast Guard. In steady state and disasters, our partnership is one of the most valuable ones,” Throop wrote. “You and the City of Florence rallied to support Sector North Bend and Station Siuslaw River after they missed their mid-January payday. We are eternally grateful for all the help you have done and will continue to do for our Coast Guard, our community and our country. You and your team helped ensure your Coast Guard remains Semper Paratus — Always Ready.”
After the proclamations, Henry notified the council and the community that he had appointed Mike Webb to serve as the Florence Urban Renewal Agency at-large representative from Western Lane Ambulance District and Micaela Carmelo West as an at-large representative.
There were no requests from the public to speak with council members and the only consent item requiring attention was the acceptance of the audited financial statements for the city for fiscal year 2017-2018.
Acceptance of the report was approved unanimously after comments from councilors commending Reynolds and city staff on the excellent work done on the overall budgetary process and the upcoming budget in particular.
Ultimately, there were two items that required action by the council. The first was a recommendation from the Environmental Management Advisory Committee (EMAC) and City Planning Director Wendy FarleyCampbell to approve an increase in collection rates for local waste haulers.
The request was submitted to the council as Lane County has recently increased what are known as “tipping” fees at all of its dump sites.
This increase was examined by FarleyCampbell and EMAC, which resulted in the creation of Resolution No. 7, Series 2019. This resolution essentially recommended allowing haulers to pass on the increased fees to customers.
Council members had few questions regarding the resolution; all were familiar with the specifics of the issues involved as they had worked on the subject during a previous work session and the resolution was adopted with unanimous support.
The second request for action was from Public Works Director Mike Miller, who asked councilors to accept a bid from Steve’s Masonry in the amount of $75,733 for construction of the Miller Park concession stand masonry wall.
Miller recapped the rationale for the change in approach to funding the project and the request was approved with minimal discussion.
City Manager Erin Reynolds next gave a brief report, which included a reminder of the upcoming ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Siuslaw River Beach Access Park at 612 Rhododendron Drive. The grand opening will be Tuesday, May 14, beginning at 4 p.m.
Reynolds also pointed out new bike racks have been installed at Florence City Hall, 250 Highway 101, in time for bike month, and that the City Budget has been published and is available for viewing online.
In addition, Reynolds also wanted residents to know that an opportunity to get an early start on spring yard cleaning was coming up.
“On May 11, you can bring the yard debris that you have cleaned up doing your yard work. We do not allow burning in the city limits of Florence and there is limited burning outside the city limits — mostly for safety reasons,” Reynolds said. “This is a good opportunity, if you have a lot of yard clippings, to bring them down to the end of 27th Street, right past the Public Works Facility, starting at 9 a.m. on May 11. For about $11 a load, you can drop off your yard debris.”
Councilor reports were the last item on the agenda.
Councilor Joshua Greene pointed out the opening of the Siuslaw River Access Park was the culmination of several years of work by many individuals and he encouraged residents to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony next week.
The meeting ended on a positive note, with Port of Siuslaw staff and Port Manager David Huntington being applauded by councilors for the doing the work necessary to stage this year’s Fourth of July fireworks display on port grounds.
The next Florence City Council meeting will be held Monday, May 20, beginning at 5:30 p.m.