Economy

Economy, Business, Finance & Labor

City of Eugene

The City of Eugene Budget Committee has come up with six options to cope with a 3 million dollar shortfall anticipated in fiscal year 2015. They're hoping people will join the discussion at a series of public meetings in January.

Laura Illig is Chair of the City of Eugene budget committee. She says they considered a range of options for dealing with the shortfall and were able to narrow down the scenarios to 6.

Oregon's Minimum Wage Set To Increase in 2014

Dec 26, 2013
www.oregon.gov

Nearly 100,000 Oregonians will see an increase in their wages beginning January 1st. Those making the current $8.95 will soon be making $9.10 an hour.

Legislation passed in 2002 matches the State’s minimum wage to the Consumer Price Index. The increase is projected to generate more than $20 million in new economic activity. Charlie Burr is the Communications Director for Oregon’s Bureau of Labor and Industries. He says most small business owners don’t complain about the increase.

Bend Refinancing Saves Tax Payer Dollars

Dec 20, 2013

Bend is taking advantage of lower interest rates to refinance a public works loan and save tax payers dollars. The $10 million loan was originally taken out for two different projects.

The Transportation Improvement and Urban Renewal projects were originally funded by a loan from Bank of the Cascades. With this refinancing, the city expects to save approximately $817,000 over the life of the loan.

The City of Coburg got some bad news Wednesday.

Applesauce producer Materne announced it will not locate its new processing facility in Lane County.  Coburg Mayor Jae Pudewell says the processing facility was expected to bring 230 jobs to the area.

Pudewell: "We're obviously very disappointed.  We were hoping to have them join our community, and I think we could have done good things together.  It's a business decision and I'm sure they're doing what's best for them."

Rachael McDonald

The snow storm and sub-freezing temperatures that hit the South Willamette Valley this month cost the City of Eugene about $125-thousand. Public Works is still cleaning up from the event.

 

Crews were on the job 24 / 7 for 7 days according to Eugene Public Works spokesman Eric Jones. Weather forecasters didn't predict the 8 inches of snow that fell in Eugene Friday December 6th, followed by temperatures that plummeted as low at minus 10. Many streets were covered in ice for a full week. Jones says the costs added up fast.

WA Fish & Wildlife

Oregon crab fishermen are out on their boats bringing in pots brimming with Dungeness crab. The season started at midnight Sunday.

Eugene's Fisherman's Market got its first load of Oregon Dungeness crab Monday afternoon from a boat out of Newport. Owner Ryan Rogers says the crustaceans are plump and tasty. And the shop has been busy.

lease
Tiffany Eckert

Lane County got a new tenant today (Monday). Businessman and former Eugene Mayor Brian Obie entered into a 99-year lease with the county to build a mixed-use development project near 5th Street Public Market. KLCC's Tiffany Eckert attended the signing ceremony on the future site.

Standing across from the Inn at the Fifth he built two years ago, Brian Obie signed the lease. Flanked by Lane County representatives, Obie said his plan to create housing and commercial space for a variety of socioeconomic groups is an important public/private endeavor.

Record Lows Will Mean Higher Utility Bills

Dec 15, 2013
NWCU.com

Last week's record lows will mean higher-than-normal utility bills for Eugene Water and Electric Board customers. The cold also wreaked havoc on plumbing for many residents.

EWEB Public Affairs Manager Lance Robertson says between 70 to 80 percent of homes in the area are heated by electricity. He says EWEB noticed a 30% increase over a five day period compared to average usage.

Robertson: "Whenever temperatures drop to a really extreme temperature, people are going to use more electricity no matter how much insulation they have in their house."

Fast-Food Workers Rally In Oregon

Dec 5, 2013

Multiple cities in Oregon participated in rallies held nationwide Thursday to support pay raises for fast food workers. Similar rallies were held earlier this year. Rob Sisk is with the Service Employees International Union Local 503. He says he hopes union members show up at the rallies.

Sisk: "I think it should attract anybody who is in the philosophy and morals behind the Occupy movement. We need to keep those issues out front and keep going after them, until there's economic justice and parity in this country."

Vicki Walker may be a city girl from Eugene.  But her current job calls on her to help Oregon's rural communities prosper.  Since 2009, Walker has been the U.S. Department of Agriculture's State Director for Rural Development.  In an audio report, Walker explains her agency's role.

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