Florence approves equipment purchases, resolutions

City Council has quorum for meeting

May 20, 2020 — The Florence City Council conducted its May 18 meeting via teleconference with only Mayor Joe Henry and councilors Woody Woodbury and Joshua Greene initially attending. Councilor Geraldine Lucio joined the teleconference midway through the meeting and Councilor Ron Preisler was unable to participate.

Earlier in the day, the council met for an Executive Session per ORS 192.660(2)(d) to consult with the city’s labor negotiator.

During the regular meeting, Florence City Council considered an ordinance and two resolutions, all three of which were approved. It also reviewed plans for the 2020 City Election process and issued proclamations recognizing Public Works Week, Building Safety Month and Safe Boating Week.

Henry began the meeting, noting Preisler and Lucio’s absence and recognizing that a quorum still existed. The mayor stated there were no public comments before turning to city staff for presentations on the night’s agenda items.

Public Works Director Mike Miller started the evening by walking councilors through the background of Ordinance No. 6, Series 2020, requesting an amendment to city code by extending fees and waivers associated with development charges to incentivize development of affordable housing.

Miller also made the case for an expenditure of $288,929 for an engineering and design services contract with RH2 Engineering Inc. The engineering services are needed to continue work on the Rhododendron Drive realignment project.

In addition, Miller asked the council to approve spending $122,000 for a 2019 Vermeer Brush Chipper and a 2014 TrommAll 5100 Powerscreen used during roadside maintenance. He provided examples of the type of situations that arise regarding the need for both pieces of equipment, adding practical experience his department gained using the requested equipment.

“Vermeer is the go-to chipper for arborists, contractors and tree care crews that are looking to efficiently and effectively clear wood debris, limbs and handle material from small to medium diameters,” Miller said. “This particular model will chip material up to 12-inches in diameter. The City currently owns a small brush chipper that is only capable of handling small-diameter material (3-4 inches in diameter) and limbs.”

He said that Public Works staff was able to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Vermeer by chipping tree and brush debris at the river access park on Rhody Drive.

“The Vermeer BC 1000XL made quick work of the many debris piles that our volunteers created during their 145.4 hours of labor trimming, delimbing, removing dead trees, and removal of Scotch broom,” Miller said.

The council approved all of the funds requested.

Next, Florence Planning Director Wendy FarleyCampbell presented Resolution No. 9, Series 2020, requesting the council to postpone the scheduled fee adjustments for local solid waste haulers.

Then, Community Economic Development Assistant Sarah Moehrke presented Resolution No 10, Series 2020, authorizing the city to apply for an Oregon Department of Transportation grant to be used for the Florence Transportation System Plan.

Councilors approved both requests.

City Recorder Kelli Weese rounded out the meeting with a presentation covering the steps that need to be taken, from the city’s perspective, by residents wishing to run for municipal office in the November 2020 election.

Weese went over the four main steps of the process and shared some general information about the city council and mayoral positions, providing these basic steps to be followed for those seeking office:

  1. File prospective petition
  2. Gather signatures
  3. File completed petition
  4. Follow campaign finance reporting requirements

There are two four-year term positions opening up at the end of the year on the Florence City Council, along with the two-year term of mayor.

The filing period for these positions runs from Wednesday, June 3, through Tuesday, Aug. 14.

At the end of the council meeting, Greene raised concerns regarding the use of face masks in publics paces, acknowledging the difficulty of implementing any regulations in that regard.

He also shared his unease at going to retail environments and seeing so many individuals without masks, particularly following the May 15 Phase One Reopening for Lane County.

Toward the end of the meeting, Councilor Lucio announced that she was married, receiving best wishes from Henry, Greene and Woodbury.

The Candidate Application Packet can be downloaded at ci.florence.or.us.