The study session began with an update from Becca Croft regarding FEMA compliance issues. Though Croft reported progress is being made tensions still ran high amongst Council members as they feel they do not have a clear report of items done and items to be done; especially in light of a tight compliance deadline. The Council would like a clearly documented project plan for Phase 3 – the most labor
intensive phase – and Croft has not yet provided one. Council concerns include worries that they will not meet FEMA’s deadline for city wide compliance and perhaps more importantly, they worry about the financial burden compliance will place on citizens. Without a clear vision of the total work to be done, their worries cannot be assuaged. It is hoped Croft will have more details on all aspects of current and future phases in her July update.
Following the report were two presentations which tied neatly together and centered on getting and keeping SC’s ground and river waters clean. First up was a presentation from Vicki Simpson from the Jackson County Soil and Water Conservation District. The presentation centered on the amount of water lost when cities replace wilderness (water lost from runoff alone goes from .3% to 30%! All that well water lost!) and listed several ways this lost water could be retained. Here’s something to chew on – under ideal circumstances SC residences and businesses could save 61,380,000 gallons of water per year just by harnessing roof runoff! JCWCD is has many ideas and pamphlets to share; for more information on what you can do to ease your summer water woes check out their website: http://www.jswcd.org. Additionally, the SC Community Center partnering with the Upper Rogue Watershed Association will be including a roof rainwater retention system for everyone to check out when they build their new addition.
Next George Bostic gave a presentation/update on the City’s TMDL (Total Mass Daily Load) implementation plan. What the heck is TMDL and why is there a plan? The City needs to do their part to lower the temperature of and bacteria in the Rogue. As Bostic put it, “Man messed it up; man’s gotta clean it up.” Retention systems like the one going on the Community Center will help. Additionally the City plans to further partner with the URWA on up-river projects and in-city riparian planting; every little bit will help the city reach its DEQ mandated temp/bacteria goals. It’s a win/win for the City, better river conditions mean happier and more fish, more fish mean more tourists!
The evening meeting continued in clean up mode, there were 6 items under new business, all were simple housekeeping issues, such as: passing the budget, re-confirming workers compensation for City volunteers for the new fiscal year and joining the Eagle Point/Upper Rogue Chamber of Commerce.
The City’s website will be tidied up a bit too as during Public Comment Jim Collier invited the Council to come visit the Trail Museum and join the Historical Society (museum hours W-Su 11:30 – 3:30). This prompted Mayor Holthusen to inquire if there was a link for the Museum on the City site under “Attractions”. There wasn’t, but Councilor Leith Hayes advised he will add one right away.
So with all their spring cleaning done the City is ready to put up their brooms and mops and dig in to all the new business summer will bring.
By Christy Pitto
Of The Independent