City of Eugene

Rachael McDonald

Lane County may throw a wrench in the City of Eugene's efforts to pass a sick leave ordinance.

The Board of County Commissioners Tuesday  moved forward on their own ordinance that exempts Lane County from the city's sick leave. It may also exempt any business outside Eugene and restrict the ability of other cities in Lane County from passing similar sick leave rules. Board Chair Pat Farr says there are a lot of unanswered questions about how the city's ordinance would affect county government and private businesses outside Eugene.

City of Eugene

Visitors to Eugene's Parks will see taller, browner grass and have fewer places to go to the bathroom. That's because the city's new budget includes a $300,000 reduction in funding for the Parks and Open Space Division.

The new budget takes effect July 1st. Craig Carnegie is Eugene Parks and Open Space Director:

Wikimedia Commons

The Eugene City Council Monday approved restrictions on fireworks.

The council voted to limit the days when fireworks can be set off. They can be used only between June 23rd and July 6 and on December 31st and January 1st.

Another ordinance would make the use of illegal fireworks enforceable under the city's social host ordinance so that residents or home owners are held responsible when they're ignited.

The council has been hoping to crack down on illegal fireworks because of the noise, fire danger and injuries. Councilor Mike Clark:

No more browsing at the Eugene Public Library on Sunday mornings.

Beginning July 6th, the library is cutting Sunday hours. It will be open from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. It currently opens at 10:00 a.m.

This is one of the ways the City of Eugene is trying to save money and have a balanced budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

Under the new budget, the Bethel Branch will remain open, Sheldon will stay open for one year while options for funding are explored, and the downtown library will be open three fewer hours on Sundays.

City of Eugene

 

Eugene City Manager John Ruiz presented his budget recommendations Tuesday for the next fiscal year. Voters may be asked to pass a levy to support Eugene's Sheldon branch library.

Eugene faces a 2.5 million dollar gap in its general fund for fiscal year 2015. The proposed budget includes cuts to library and recreation programs, park maintenance, human rights and neighborhood services. Eugene Budget Committee chair Laura Illig says this comes out of a nearly year-long process of public meetings.

Eugene and Springfield residents could see a boost in their monthly utility fee for wastewater. 

Tammy Smith is with Eugene Public Works. She says the cost of processing wastewater has gone up. In order to meet expenses the wastewater commission is proposing a 3.5 percent increase in regional wastewater rates and a 2.75 percent increase for city residents. Smith says in the city of Eugene…

Smith: "A typical standard residential customer would see $1.09 increase in their wastewater utility fee."

Desmond O'Boyle

An anonymous donor from Eugene has stepped forward with $400,000 to purchase property for a homeless camp in the city.

The $400,000 will be used to buy a piece of private property to create a place for homeless people to sleep. The donor has also asked that a health clinic be on site for residents and others in need.

Attorney Mary Broadhurst is a homeless advocate who's worked with SLEEPS and residents of the recently shuttered illegal Whoville camp. She says she's grateful.

The city of Eugene is trying to improve the safety of a portion of Willamette Street. Three alternatives are being considered for the stretch between 24th and 29th avenues. The first would be to keep the busy street in its current configuration with 4 vehicle traffic lanes and no bike lanes. Another would turn the roadway into three lanes with bike lanes on each side. The center lane would be a turn lane.

Karen Richards

The Eugene City Council voted today [Wednesday] to withdraw a proposed rest-stop location for homeless people near the Science Factory and Cuthbert Amphitheater. Last Friday, Eugene police shut down an illegal homeless camp near downtown called Whoville.  

City Councilor Chris Pryor made the move to withdraw the rest-stop because it's problematic for the Science Factory, Nearby Nature and a car-camping program. Councilor George Brown bemoaned the fact that Whoville was closed before another site was made available for its residents.

City of Eugene

The city of Eugene is considering a sick leave ordinance modeled after one recently passed in Portland. They discussed it at their meeting Wednesday. Not all councilors think it’s a good idea.

Councilor Mike Clark says a citywide sick leave ordinance would be great in an ideal world but…

Clark: "My concern here revolves around the fact that this will cost, in the real world, this will cost our community hundreds and hundreds of jobs."

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