LAKESIDE — During its December meeting, the Lakeside City Council discussed homelessness in the area, and an update given to the Coos County Commissioners.
During the council's work session, City Manager Andrew Carlstrom gave an update on the city's efforts to address homelessness in the area. The council noted that communities with very lenient policies to help the homeless get a flood of people coming from other areas. They agreed that drafting policies to help people get back on their feet was a good way to avoid reaching a saturation point where the city doesn't have the resources to go around.
Councilor Shauleen Higgins suggested Lakeside could set up low income housing, as well as setting up a satellite facility for supporting mental health needs. It was also suggested that the city could set up a full intervention center to help people get in touch with other services they may need. The councilors noted that many people don't know where to find the help they need or are unwilling to ask for help on their own.
Mayor James Edwards also addressed people camping in RVs near Lakeside businesses. He proposed drafting an ordinance that would make it illegal to camp in the business districts of the city, permitting the ticketing of RVs and campers parked long term on the side of the road. It was noted that people who camp in the business district would just move to other parts and the problem would continue. Edwards, however, said the tickets would require the offenders to go to court in Coquille and pay fines. If the city stayed on top of them, the weight of the fines would discourage them from parking where they're not supposed to.
"It was embarrassing last summer, having all these dilapidated old RVs parked on both sides of the road up here, and in front of McKays, and whereever," said Edwards. "We're not looking for money out of homeless people, we're looking to improve the quality of Lakeside. And the quality of Lakeside includes not allowing dilapidated motorhomes parking in our intersections and in front of City Hall."
The mayor allowed that it was an idea that could meet with mixed popularity, but noted that it's still in the early stages of discussion.
Edwards recalled he and Carlstrom spoke to the Coos County Commissioners to give an update on Lakeside. He said they were impressed with Carlstrom's presentation and "were unaccustomed to the level of professionalism" that he displayed.
During the meeting with the commissioners, Edwards also discussed getting sidewalks along all the streets that are on county land, A Street down to 11th Street, and resurfacing Northlake Road. He said they did not seem to acknowledge the importance of the renovations.
Other business during the city council meeting included:
The city council appointed Ken Ireland to the planning commission.
During its update, the Lakeside Library reported they had approximately 20,000 visitors in 2019.
The Council approved a resolution extending workers' compensation coverage to volunteers working on city property. This resolution amends Resolution 2019-10.
A resolution to establish a new non-commercial hangar lease at the Lakeside Airport was held to be discussed at the January 2020 meeting.