Front Page, Oakridge/Westfir

Westfir City Council Meeting October 3, 2022

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Westfir City Hall logo. City Hall is in the background. Herald photo

By JOY KINGSBURY/for The Herald  —  Westfir City Council voted to approve a Volunteer Service Agreement with Jim (Gunny) Mc Kee, which appoints him to the office of Westfir City Volunteer Fire Chief.  Gunny will now begin his plan to put together an all-Volunteer Fire Department for Westfir.

Council will apply to several grant possibilities for funding to help establish a Fire Department for the city, and to look for land on which to build a Fire Station.  Gunny will obtain uniforms, and has lined up five of the ten volunteers he hopes for.  He will prepare Standard Operations Guidelines and Standard Operating Procedures for the new Department.  There will be a swearing in ceremony for the new Fire Chief during a Town Hall meeting in mid-November.

Gunny has moved forward with issuing some goals and an initial budget for the Volunteer Fire Department. The goal is to get this Fire Department up and running within a year.  Westfir’s fire truck will be returned to Westfir from Oakridge, where it will enhance the safety of the community when it comes to fire hazard.  It will take much of Gunny’s time to make contacts with various Fire Departments around the area and assessing resources that may be available to Westfir.  The condition of the truck and gear must be evaluated.   In Gunny’s opinion, having Westfir’s truck on hand would be a plus since Oakridge cannot respond in time to save a structure from burning.

Westfir City Council will also keep abreast of progress toward a Special Fire District, which has lately been under discussion in Westfir and Oakridge, along with Hazeldell.

Council received an update from Trans Cascadia’s Westfir project’s representative, Blair Banker. A few changes are in the offing. They will add a sauna, steam room and possibly a hot and cold pool to the bath house. Cabins have been designed to take the place of the dome houses originally planned while using the same footprint.  Any changes will be submitted to Lane Council of Governments (LCOG). LCOG provides services to Westfir for planning. Trans Cascadia intends to create a truly unique project with a heavy emphasis on design to offer visitors a truly unique experience when they visit Westfir.

A resident’s water bill was reduced because of a leak. The city will consider reducing the water bill if the leak is addressed in timely fashion.

Council went into Executive Session to consider employment pursuant to ORS 192.66028.

Council reconvened and voted unanimously to hire Robert McLaughlin as Relief City Recorder.

Westfir City Council meets the first Monday of each month at 5:30 PM at City Hall in Westfir. A hybrid option is available on the City website.  Meetings are open to the public and a sign-up sheet is available for public comment.

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

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