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Oakridge City Council meeting 6/15: “Porta-potty” regulations needed and concerns over the budget

Oakridge City Hall and library Herald photo

By PAUL SCOTT/for The Herald  —  The Oakridge City Council meeting of June 15, 2023 showed residents a council devoted to our welfare as a community; that we respect our differences and find ways to resolve conflicts.

Last night provided a look at an Oakridge City Council and Manager that are on the same page and ready to more forward toward community health and growth.

The meeting started with a statement by resident Nancy Kelly on her concerns for portable toilets located near her home in the uptown business district.   She has expressed concern over time for other changes in the uptown development.

Rick Yarborough, owner of the business that Ms. Kelly has concerns about, spoke of the many hours and days he’s spent trying to establish his business and help the community.

So we have two parties with conflicting interests.   The City has responded with an extensive study and found that our own regulation for temporary or movable carts, and the cleaning of those restrooms was lacking.

Rick Zylstra of Public Works presented a draft of possible changes that will include guidelines for cleaning of the temporary facilities. A win for the individual and assures our business owners of clear standards for the future.

Councilor Hollett updated RAIN activity to help small business here in Oakridge.  Last week, 21 participants met for training and expanding small businesses.

The public session adjourned for just under an hour to review the offers on four public properties that are up for sale.

Inbound LCC request free use of OIP lot 37 for firefighters to camp during the length of the fire season.  After discussion, it was decided that as a private company they should pay $100 per month and provide proof of insurance to rent the OIP space 37. Councilor Kinyon and Coker sponsored the vote.

Contracting with Junction City for dispatching services will start in August and not July, due to personnel available.

Concerning the 2023-24 budget, both Mayor Cutchen and Councilor Kinyon expressed deep reservation about the numbers presented in several areas of the proposed 2023-24 budget.   ‘Low confidence’ by Council was near unanimous and a second reading is scheduled for 6/19/2023 to review the budget.

At this point, it is highly unlikely that the City will receive a full audit of past years budgeting errors before the final budget due date of 6/30.   This will mean a supplemental budget must be submitted if the audit shows more than a 10% variance from the budget submitted by 6/30/22.

While rough times and personal priorities are always going to disrupt the smooth sailing of government, it feels like Oakridge City Council has been ‘sharpened’ by our hard lessons in budgeting and are now on a clear path, as a team, to make corrections necessary to provide for the residents of our city.

Born 1953, Portland, Paul Scott graduated from North Eugene HS.
He attended William Penn College, receiving a BA: Psychology/Counseling, Sociology, MIS. He now lives in Oakridge with his wife, Marty. Paul and Marty have three adult children.


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