By Carleen Reilly
The world goes on, even when you’re sick. Pat and I are still coughing after almost 2 weeks of dealing with this bug. I missed a few meetings, but when I re-entered the world of meetings, it was a whirlwind. And the week isn’t over yet. I hope I haven’t missed some significant pieces of information.
Neighborhood Planning Council Work Session. Monday evening, November 19, the City Council got a NP progress report after a presentation from the Sustainability Commission. Feedback from all Councilors was very good. Claire Syrette gave ‘heaps of praise’ for our work; and Chris Pryor commented on the trust between the neighborhood workers, and he added his trust in our NP leadership. Mike Clark had questions about the percent of the City’s buildable lands that are in RR/SC and integration of ‘Clear and Objective’ planning while protecting agricultural land and having sufficient buildable land remaining to build housing to meet our needs. No definitive answers were given, and they were left for further research. Our NP is not far enough along the road to surface the exact nature of our housing needs and lands available for building. You can view these Council meetings online. It’s about a 30 minute presentation. We left the meeting feeling very good about our neighborhood leaders, Kate Perle and Louisa de Heer, and Eric Brown, our City planner.
Meetings with Service Districts and Providers of Public Services. A series of meetings are set up with our service providers and service districts. Meetings have been held with the River Road Park and Recreation District and River Road Water District. Meetings are planned with County Sheriff Captain and Eugene Police representative; Santa Clara Fire Department; Eugene-Springfield Fire Department; Santa Clara Water District, and perhaps others as they are requested.
A few of us are working on Goal 18, which states: “Provide comprehensive public services responsive to the needs of the community.” We decided that we needed to take the draft policy statements and actions to those who serve our needs before we take it to the Policy Round Up on December 5.
We are reminding them that the plan is for 20 years in the future, and we have to try to anticipate changes in our neighborhoods, changes in the way public services might be delivered, and consider the fact that as taxes continue to go up, people will be asking us to eliminate redundant services and be efficient with tax dollars. This draft lays out some ways to transition as neighborhoods evolve and service delivery becomes more centralized.
It was exciting for Jerry Finigan and me to visit with Mike Gerot and Steve Norris of the River Road Water District. Here are a few things I noted from the meeting. RR Water is responsible for 3 areas: delivery of water, maintaining street lights, and contracting with the City for fire services. I learned that street light maintenance is funded through water sales. In addition, the Water District has recently contacted with the City of Eugene to do the actual street light repairs. They reported that this relationship is working really well, and they are pleased with the City’s work. For your information, if you see a street light that is burned out, contact EWEB, and they will report it to the City for repair.
We asked what was looming on the horizon that might be of concern to the Water District. EWEB’s project to find a secondary water source was concerning as it might be more expensive for our neighbors than they would be willing to pay. But EWEB has backtracked on that project in favor of establishing water reserves for emergency purposes in neighborhoods. River Road is fortunate to have a water reserve sited at our new Howard Elementary School. That makes a lot of sense to me as it would become a community center for us to all work out of when we experience a disaster.
The other item is the plan to install electronic metering. This is not of the magnitude of the secondary water source. Mr. Gerot priced it at about $1 million and said they have sufficient funding to handle it.
Maintenance of water lines is ongoing, and they take a proactive approach to getting the job done. They depend on EWEB to detect leakage that demands repair. The life of water meters is about 10 – 15 years, so there is a continual changing out of meters. If electronic meters were installed, we would know about leaks sooner. Ultimately, electronic meters would save us money.
“Trust is maintained with neighbors by providing good service delivery.” This was a good note to end our conversation on.
Transportation Goals, Policies, and Actions. Last night, the CAC met to review and edit the Draft Transportation Goals. This topic is of major concern to nearly all of our neighbors because of congestion, safety, and the need to encompass new transportation trends that appear to be arriving sooner than we expected. This is a very big topic, and the CAC worked through the drafts as much as they could with the plan to further polish them between now and the presentation at the December 5 Policy Round Up at North Eugene High School from 6:00 to 8:00.
The City Council will meet on November 26 to discuss transportation system development charges and incentives. This could be a useful tool in building out our River Road corridor according to our desires. Learning how this works could be interesting and useful.
Delta Construction. There has been some community consternation regarding the construction taking place on Delta Highway and the congestion on streets that have to take up the slack. You could save yourself a little grief by looking at TripCheck.com to see if there is a better way to get there.
If you want an overview of what is going on, look at this website.
Plastics Round Up. The last round up of plastics for recycling went very well, but efforts are being made to be more efficient. Volunteers are needed to sign up as Community Collectors, where neighbors can take plastics over a 3 or 4 month period. Contact Kelly Bell for information to be a Community Collector or volunteer in other ways.
Kelly.email@example.com – (541) 682-2059
- TUESDAY, November 27, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Community Advisory Committee and interested neighbors. Draft Land Use Goals, Policies and Actions. North Eugene High School Library.
- WEDNESDAY, December 5, 2018, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Neighborhood Planning ROUND UP of draft policies. Report to neighbors on work in progress. North Eugene High School, Cafeteria.
- THURSDAY, December 6, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., Eugene-Portland Rail Public Comment, Preferred alignment. http://www.oregonpassengerrail.org/ Eugene Public Library.
- SATURDAY, December 8, 9:00 to Noon. Rasor Park Work Party. A major wildflower planting party for the year. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or their Facebook page for more details.
- MONDAY, December 10, 7:00 to 8:30, RRCO Holiday Dessert Potluck, River Road Annex, 1055 River Road.
- TUESDAY, December 11, 7pm to 8:30pm. Chance to review Affordable Housing proposals at Emerald Park in the River Road Parks and Recreation building, room E.
- FRIDAY, December 14, 2:30 to 5:00. River Road Affordable Housing Evaluation Committee. Will meet and discuss scores of the Request for Proposals.
- LATE JANUARY, 2019, Neighborhood Planning Public Event. More info to come.
Don’t eat too much on Thanksgiving!
Disclaimer: The RR CRG weekly messages are my personal views and interpretation of community events and neighborhood planning efforts. I am not a Board member of RRCO (River Road Community Organization); SCRRIPT (Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team) has transitioned leadership to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); and I have never been a City employee.
Carleen Reilly has lived in the neighborhood for over 40 years. She served on the RRCO board of directors from 2007-2013, and has been involved over the years with the Joint Strategy Team (JuST), the Santa Clara-River Road Outreach and Learning project (SCRROL), and the Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team (SCRRIPT)
She publishes a weekly e-newsletter called “River Road Community Resource Group Newsletter” that focuses on land use, transportation, parks and open spaces, economic development, and Community interests as they are related to our Neighborhood Planning activities in conjunction with the Santa Clara neighborhood. If you would like to subscribe you can contact Carleen at: carleenr |at| gmail dot com.