Government: DCA Audit Update, Public Comments Take Front Stage, Homeless Response System Go Ahead, Watershed Committee Moves Forward
DCA Audit Continues: According to Economic Development Manager Kate Porsche, the audit into the financials for the now-defunct Downtown Corvallis Association – which was originally estimated to be turned in by the end of June – has been slated to be delivered to the City within the next 15-90 days. To date, Corvallis has been billed $9,100 for the project, and that bill will continue to rise until the work is completed.
Get There Challenge: Mayor Biff Traber announced his last Get There Challenge as the head of this fair city. The Challenge runs from October 3-16 and urges people who drive throughout the city to find alternative ways to get from Point A to Point B. Whether it be by foot, bus, bike, skates, or carpool, Traber encourages everyone to protect the air for those two weeks.
Public Comments: For the City Council meeting held September 19, the public stepped up to ask for help for the houseless. Speakers included students, long time residents, Unity Shelter, and religious representative Jen Butter, and all of them urged the Council to find ways to better protect the people who have no other place to live than the streets.
Another hot topic was that of the Franchise Board’s negotiations with Northwest Natural Gas. Of major concern for many is the closed-door nature of these talks. Locals expressed worry over the use of natural gas which has been connected to methane released into the air and illness in children who live in homes where gas is used. This interest was not as apparent from the Council level as they delayed speaking about the Sunrise Corvallis Green New Deal Resolution until October 3
Coordinated Homeless Response System: City Council discussed whether or not to authorize a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to “establish an effective framework for collaboration” between the City of Corvallis and Benton County to develop a coordinated homeless response system for the county, pursuant to HB 4123. There was little discussion before the MOU was unanimously approved.
Watershed Operational Advisory Committee: The City Manager and Public Works have created their list of candidates for the Watershed Operational Advisory Committee. This group will be asked to address topics such as the Rock Creek Forest Stewardship Plan and the silviculture harvest plans, annual public tour, and research and grant development.
Community members selected for this committee, including what interests they represent, are:
Tiffany Garcia – Aquatic resources and previous Watershed Board Member.
Mark Harmon – International expert on forest carbon cycling and sequestration.
Frank Davis – Environmental natural resources.
Steve Rogers – Community Member and previous Watershed Board Member.
Peter O. Nelson – Community Member
Extending Curbs Around Town: If you’ve driven by the corner of Grant and 11th lately, you might have seen white posts added to the edge of the curb. These are “curb extenders” and they’re meant to allow better access for bicycles. There is now a large sign at the corner as well if you’d like more information about this program which plans on extending curbs across town in the near future.