Front Page, Oakridge/Westfir

CITY OF WESTFIR PLAGUED BY VICIOUS DOG ISSUES AND PORTA POTTY WOES

red covered bridge over flowing river
The iconic red Office Bridge in Westfir holds the distinction of being Oregon’s longest covered bridge. Herald Photo

By JOY KINGSBURY/for The Herald  —  Westfir Councilor Edward Johnstone voiced concern over an item addressed at Oakridge City Council, regarding the dog shot within Oakridge City Limits.  The dog owner was ticketed, but, not arrested.  The question from a private citizen attending was, “Why was he not arrested?”

No explanation was given. More will be revealed at a later date.

Bad dog!

The council discussed Westfir’s own dilemma with dogs.  There was a dog at large last Saturday that is known to be vicious.  Mother’s kept children indoors for safety purposes, since this dog has bitten in the past. The owner was taken into Court by the City.  One more charge and the order is for the dog to be removed.  However, the City’s hands are tied inasmuch as a special form must be filed with the Sheriff.  The City then waits till the Sheriff’s Department takes action. With the dogs’ history, there was concern expressed that if someone shoots this dog the City could be liable for the action, or, the City could be sued if a child gets bitten.

With that, Council concurs that this dog should not be in the City and they want dangerous dogs to be removed. Councilor Huey told the audience that, “We send complaints to the authorities in charge and must await their action. We want dangerous dogs removed.” The Sheriff’s Office requires a first hand witness complaint on file in order to spark an investigation.

Events are overtaxing city septic system

The City of Westfir does not allow porta potties to sit around in the city for an unspecified length of time.  Porta Potties that were serving biking and other events were removed as required by the city. True to form, the remedy did not remediate the problem and it simply traveled. Tony Slauch, Maintenance Director, reported bathrooms usage at the Portal has since increased by triple the norm and is creating maintenance and supply problems for the city. There was mention that the ordinance may need to be revisited.  Parking at the Portal is creating an overload.

Trans-Cascadia and Cog Wild customers are using the public restrooms at the Portal as well.

The irrigation system at the Portal was vandalized and requires repairs. The heavy use at the Portal is taxing the City’s septic system and it may need to be pumped.

Bobby Archer, public works Director, told Council the pump at the water plant needs repair.  He has arranged for those repairs to be done.

A better plan needed for evacuations

Jim Mc Kee, (Gunny), volunteer Fire Chief for Westfir, will do an assessment on safety features For Westfir homes.  Gunny spoke to the need for a better plan for emergency evacuations.  In the most recent fire evacuation, traffic was backed up from the bridge to the ranger station. He cited the need for a traffic director at such times.

As an aside, Gunny is off to participate in a National Archery event.  He has won six Championships in this event in past contests.

Randy Dreiling offers services to Westfir

Randy Dreiling addressed Council to announce his landscaping services to Westfir and Oakridge. He offered to work with the city on planned events, and said that he intends to write a proposal for an event of his own.  Also, he suggested that the cities of Oakridge and Westfir have need of a Tourism Director.  Randy has planned and sponsored many events in the area for a number of years.

 

Westfir City Council meets monthly on the first Monday of the month at City Hall beginning 5:30. Meetings are open to the public. A sign-up sheet is available for public comment. Special Meetings and work sessions are posted on the City Website.  www.ci.westfir.or.us.

Joy Kingsbury is an Oakridge resident and regular contributor to The Herald. Joy Kingsbury photo

 

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