Front Page, Oakridge/Westfir

Westfir City Council Meeting May 1, 2023

Westfir honors their covered bridge with a miniature version on display. City Hall is in the Background. Herald photo


By JOY KINGSBURY/for The Herald  —  Westfir citizen, Jonathon Lundbom, addressed Council regarding some of the repair problems being put to bid for the portal that he believes could be corrected easily with the City’s own work crew.  He first thanked Councilors Packard and Johnstone for all their hard work on projects.

Westfir overcharged for local projects?

Lundbom went on to tell Council that he believes that the City is overcharged in the bidding process for repair and  maintenance projects. He feels the bids are over-estimated, that current repairs are maintenance projects the City can perform.  Lundbom agreed to meet with Councilor Packard at the Portal  to go over present conditions at the site and point out the difficulties he sees with repairs, along with his proposed remedies.

Mr. Lundbom is a licensed contractor.   Lundbom also complained that the Portal buildings are not properly supplied much of the time. The City has invited local contractors to bid the projects.

A new, sturdier, memorial bench for the Portal

Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Kibbe attended Council meeting to report on their interest in changing a memorial bench to her father’s memory,  placed at the Portal some time ago. The bench is made of wood.  The Kibbes will replace the wooden bench with a metal bench anchored into concrete.  This will be tough and durable. They will also have some tree stumps removed in order to plant new foliage to beautify the space.

IGA’s for police and fire protection

Council approved a Resolution to enter into an Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Oakridge for police protection for Westfir in the coming fiscal year, 23-24.  The cost to be $60,000.00.  Oakridge will no longer guarantee patrol hours, but, will answer all calls.  Westfir will invite Oakridge Police Chief, Kevin Martin, to an upcoming City Council meeting for citizen and Council updates.

Council approved an Intergovernmental Agreement with the City of Oakridge for fire protection for the same fiscal year in the amount of $37,000.00.  The Oakridge Fire Chief will have authority to prescribe the manner and method of providing the services.

Councilor Johnstone has been appointed to the Oakridge Safety and Advisory Committee and will monitor committee meetings.

Volunteer fire department acquiring funds

Donations to the fledgling Westfir Volunteer Fire Department are over $20,000.  City is looking to The Ford Family Foundation Grant Fund for approximately $200,000 to build a building and outfit it.  They are looking into other grants as well. water and sewer operator, Robert Archer,  will survey all water lines and do all that is possible to help move along the progress for the new Westfir Volunteer Fire Department.

Westfir Volunteers hosted a 16 hour Fire Officer 1 level training on decision making skills on scene. The class was well attended by fire fighters from Oakridge, Dexter and Lowell.

The Westfir City Council resolved to establish a fire department building reserve fund with the donations they have received.  Council will update and keep citizens informed about how their money is spent.  Money will be needed to extend water and sewer to the new fire department station site.

Portal vandals and misuse cost the City

Anthony Schlauch, Park Maintenance Director, reported to the Council the problems with vandalism at the Portal.  There have been numerous incidents of graffiti that require special solutions to clean it off. Garbage dumping, theft of toilet paper and other materials from the bathrooms are also problems he addressed. People have abused the bathrooms by using them inappropriately.  The Council agreed to secure the  bathrooms at night and re-open in the mornings.  There are currently cameras and, in addition,  special locks will be applied to the building.  This activity by persons who do not respect the amenities provided to them by the City is costly, and wasteful.

My apologies to Councilor Deretta Huey for misspelling her name in other publications.

Westfir City Council meetings are open to the public.  They take place each first Monday of the month at 5:30 PM.  at Westfir City Hall. There is a sign up sheet for public comment.  There is a hybrid option for those who cannot attend in person.

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