Shady Cove will vote on burn ban, rejects mayor's plan

To burn or not to burn, that is the question. Voters will make the decision in the November election after the Shady Cove City Council paved the way for the measure that bans open-burning to be on the ballot. At the July 17 meeting, council also turned down Mayor Ruth Keith’s "Compromise Ordinance."
 

Keith discussed the possibility of Oregon Sanitation offering an
organic bin for leaves. Residents with a bin for recyclables could
substitute the organic bin twice a month for leaf pickup. After the
initial cost of $20 for the third bin, the monthly charge for
recyclables would not change. This option could begin when the city
renews the contract with the sanitation company. (Administration will
check on the renewal date.)
   
Resident Art Sugden found the
concept of organic bins to be a good alternative to the compromise
ordinance. He feels the burn-ban does not address the primary problem
of what to do with large amounts of debris. Sugden who has a wooded
half-acre, used the California fires as an example and said the effect
of debris on the ground is "a time bomb ready to explode." Let the
voters decide, he said.
   
One originator of the initiative
that bans burning, Doug VanGordon, made an eloquent plea to council to
oppose the compromise ordinance. Because the proposed ordinance had a
fee of $150 for a burn permit, it would turn a health and safety issue
into a money issue. "I would never compromise the health and safety of
my family and friends, and neither should you," Gordon said in his
appeal to the councilors.
   
Council heard because the vote was
three-to-one against the compromise ordinance. (Councilor Bill Kyle was
absent.) Only the mayor voted in favor of the alternative to a total
ban on burning. The issue is still on the burner, however, because if
the measure fails in the election, a new council could propose an
ordinance that would be more definitive than this one. Councilor Gary
Hughes, who had first introduced the concept of a ban on open-burning,
said he would like to see an ordinance that would perhaps have a buffer
zone around the school. The issue is far from over.
   
A
bicycle path and sidewalk, talked about for 12 to 14 years, may become
a reality. The city applied for a grant from the Oregon Department of
Transportation (ODOT) for the $269,000 project. The city’s cost would
be $17,000 and that amount is already earmarked in the budget. The
five-foot wide path and a five-foot wide sidewalk would extend from
Cleveland to Williams Lane on Highway 62. ODOT decision will be
announced in October.
   
Between an old log cabin, seemingly
abandoned at the south end of town on Highway 62, and a lack of weed
abatement, Hughes expressed concern about the appearance of the
"gateway" to town and fire danger in Shady Cove.
   
Almost a
year ago, the planning commission had agreed to the placement of the
log cabin with the stipulation of upgrading the building as part of a
storage unit complex. Commissioners said aesthetics was of major
concern because of the location. Landscaping, attractive fencing and
other improvements were on the list. Hughes questioned why the city has
not forced the owner of the property to do what had been agreed upon.
The matter will be looked into.
   
Regarding weed abatement,
the city will consult with legal counsel to rewrite portions of the
ordinance to be consistent with state law for the time frame of weed
removal to be reduced to the barest minimum.
   
City
Administrator Elise Smurzynski said city hall is to be updated on the
outside to match the new library. Painting with complementary colors
and stonework will capture the same theme the library has of a mountain
lodge. A 12-foot gazebo and landscaping will add to the project.
   
A
structural engineer will be brought in to check cracks making sure the
building maintains its integrity. Bostic is getting quotes for the
refurbishing.
   
Residents concerned about the FEMA probation
are encouraged by Keith to attend an open house on July 29. The city
sponsored event includes representatives from FEMA, the Department of
Land Conservation and Development, as well as, general contractors,
suppliers, "Smart Vent" representatives, insurance agents, real estate
agents and brokers and Certified Floodplain Managers. The open house is
from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Grange  and the Playhouse. Video
presentations will be at the Playhouse and displays will be at the
Grange. The meeting places are at 145 and 125 Chaparral, respectively.
   
Police
Chief Rick Mendenhall received thanks on the professionalism shown by
Officer Tim Kennedy in his work on recent vandalism in the area. He
also said the Neighborhood Watch Program is coming along "quite nicely."
By Margaret Bradburn
Of the Independent  

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