2009 in UR communities

The year just concluded is highlighted in this issue. But beyond that, we offer a brief overview of the year as we saw it in Shady Cove, Eagle Point and White City.

Shady Cove seems to have barely moved off square one on issues such as water, annexation and what one might consider name calling. While the voters changed the board of directors of the water district and the law held the former board’s policy of charging for a non-existent service was a tax, not a fee, and therefore illegal; the current board can’t even disband the district easily and inexpensively.

Park land and annexation and who is right and who is wrong has resulted in many a session in the community. With a change in the council and with an interim administrator some of the long-standing issues may be resolved. But there is yet another problem, and that has not been resolved. Who will police the community? Will it be Shady cove or will it be Jackson County Sheriff’s Department? The year 2010 should tell that tale and it should take a step or two forward on a water district and perhaps find potential for community water.

Eagle Point’s enjoyment of several years of prosperity ended this year. The city looked at its pocketbook much like the citizens have and found it was no longer full. And, like its citizens, it has made adjustments. For the city those adjustments came in staffing, cutting hours and cutting benefits such as their wellness program, cutting support for some projects such as setting aside a sum to help the Eagle Point community Association purchase  decorations, among a number of other changes.

On the positive side, they were able to make some noted changes. The most noticeable is the new intersection, repaving of Main St., sidewalk, curb and gutter improvement on Main and replacing trees on Main St. Funding came from federal stimulus and funds previously budgeted for improvements.

The economic committee and parks and recreation committee and two committees serving to help with a future view of the community and have been pro-active in a these changes as well as working on changes such as the bed and breakfast ordinance. While the funding may not immediately be available, they are able to help put things in place so when funds are once again available, changes can occur.

White City came out from under the urban renewal umbrella. While many celebrate that from a taxing standpoint, there is concern about the future. The big item is the future and what will happen with all the improvements? They are all in the hands of the county and will they be properly maintained and improved, when needed? Where does the community go now? The issue, pro and con, over incorporation. If incorporation does not occur, will the community in the future find itself in a situation similar to Shady Cove, wherein it will be so expensive and so much to be done, that it will be seemingly impossible?

Despite the economy and despite some hurdles, those of us in southern Oregon have opportunities to take care of ourselves than do so many in this country. We can know our neighbor, and trust our neighbor; we can hunt and fish and have a yard that we can turn into a garden if we so desire. Our weather, while we certainly have moaned and groaned over the fog and what we call cold weather, one only has to look a bit east to know what miserable winter weather is. And while we have some very hot summer days, we do not have the humidity than becomes unbearable in many part of the country.

All in all, we are in a pretty good place.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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