Government: DCA Audit Update, Public Comment Takes Center Stage, Homeless Response System Moves Forward, Watershed Committee Moves Forward

ByShannon J. Cortes

Sep 20, 2022

The DCA audit continues: According to economic development manager Kate Porsche, the audit of the finances of the now defunct Downtown Corvallis Association – which was originally due in late June – is expected to be delivered to the city within the next 15 years. 90 days. To date, Corvallis has been billed $9,100 for the project, and that bill will continue to rise until the work is complete.

Challenge to get there: Mayor Biff Traber announced his latest Get There Challenge at the head of this beautiful city. The challenge runs from October 3-16 and urges people driving all over the city to find alternative ways to get from point A to point B. Whether on foot, bus, bike, skates or in carpooling, Traber encourages everyone to protect the air during these two weeks.

Public comments: For the municipal council of September 19, the population mobilized to ask for help for the homeless. Speakers included students, long-time residents, Unity Shelter and religious representative Jen Butter, all of whom urged the Council to find ways to better protect people who have no place to live but the street.

Another hot topic was negotiations between the Franchise Board and Northwest Natural Gas. The closed-door nature of these talks is a major concern for many. Residents have expressed concern over the use of natural gas which has been linked to methane released into the air and illnesses in children who live in homes where the gas is used. This interest was not as evident at the Board level as they delayed talking about the Sunrise Corvallis Green New Deal resolution until October 3rd.

Coordinated homelessness response system: City Council discussed whether or not to authorize a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to “establish a framework for effective collaboration” between the Town of Corvallis and Benton County to develop a coordinated system of response to homeless for the county, in accordance with HB 4123. There was little discussion before the MOU was unanimously approved.

Watershed Operational Advisory Committee: The General Manager and Public Works have created their slate of candidates for the Watershed Operational Advisory Committee. This group will be invited to discuss topics such as the Rock Creek Forest Stewardship Plan and silvicultural harvest plans, the annual public tour, and research and grant development.

The community members selected for this committee, including the interests they represent, are:

  1. Tiffany Garcia – Aquatic Resources and former Watershed Council member.
  2. Diana Blakney – Environmental Stewardship. Ken McCall – Ecological and Natural Resources.
  3. Mark Harmon – International expert on forest carbon cycling and sequestration.
  4. Frank Davis – Environmental Natural Resources.
  5. Steve Rogers – community member and former watershed council member.
  6. Peter O. Nelson – Community Member

Extend borders around the city: If you’ve driven around the corner of Grant and 11th lately, you may have seen white poles added to the curb. These are “sidewalk extenders” and are intended to allow better access for bicycles. There is now a large sign on the corner as well if you would like more information on this program which plans to extend curbs across the city in the near future.

By Lawyer Staff