By James Day
Property owner Wes Holman used the public comment period of the Dec. 5 Silverton City Council meeting to raise concerns about trash and debris at a home near the Holman house on South Third Avenue.
The complaint record apparently goes back to 2015, and although Holman said there have been some temporary improvements he remains ”not satisfied” wth the situation.
City officials promised to review the situation and also will look into a secondary issue of whether a fence Holman is constructing aligns with the correct property line:
In other highlights from the Dec. 5 meeting:
James Street: The city might wind up closing James Street at C Street because of challenges they are facing with a proposal to improve the pedestrian walkway at the corner.
The property is owned by the railroad, and the city has been advised that any work the city does on the walkway also must include reconstruction of the entire crossing. The 2022-23 budget includes approximately $300,000 for the project, but city officials said the railroad piece would push the cost above $1 million.
Councilors voted unanimously to table an agenda item on proceeding with the cross project and also discussed a possible alternative of closing James Street at C Street.
Psilocybin: Councilors unanimously passed an ordinance that establishes regulations and restrictions on psilocybin service centers inside the city limits.
In November 2020 Oregon voters passed Measure 109, which created a program for administering psilocybin products, such as psilocybin-producing mushrooms and fungi, to individuals aged 21 years or older. Before the issue passed, by a 55% to 45% margin, the manufacturing and consumption of psilocybin was illegal under both federal law and state law.
Measure 109 also allowed cities and counties to place referendums on local ballots to prohibit or allow psilocybin-product manufacturers or psilocybin service centers in unincorporated areas.
Silverton is a bit of an outlier on the psilocybin issue. Eight Mid-Valley jurisdictions, including voters in unincorporated Marion and Linn counties, approved ballot measures Nov. 8 that prohibit psilocybin businesses. Most of the prohibition votes were by wide margins.
Election: Councilors unanimously accepted the results of the Nov. 8 election. Jason Freilinger was elected mayor, Marie Traeger, April Newton and Eric Hammond were elected as councilors, and a measure to renew the five-year local option property tax levy for the pool passed with more than 64% of the vote.
Budget: The calendar was announced for the 2023-24 budget process. The budget message is due from City Manager Ron Chandler on April 1. Budget committee meetings are scheduled for April 20, April 25 and April 27, with the City Council scheduled to hold a public hearing to adopt the budget on June 19.
Civic center furniture: Councilors approved spending approximately $75,000 on office furniture for the new civic center building. The furniture will be built by inmates working on skills and training with Oregon Corrections Enterprises. The inmates will use the remains of the Douglas fir that used to occupy a corner of the civic center lot as well as some reclaimed wood from the demolished Eugene Field School to build the furniture. The Douglas fir had to be cut down because of damage it suffered in the February 2021 ice storm.
SACA fee waiver: Councilors unanimously approved waiving the $1,100 application fee normally associated with the conditional use permit required for the nonprofit to operate within the general commercial zone. SACA is seeking new quarters and says its new site will be inside the zone.
Republic: The city will hire a certified public accountant to review financial information received from Republic Services as part of a rate increase proposal. City officials have raised questions about the quality of the data they have been receiving from Republic, the city’s franchise trash hauler.