REEDSPORT — During last week's meeting of the Reedsport City Council, Mayor Linda McCollum issued a proclamation declaring August 6, 2019 as City of Reedsport Day; the council also discussed additional traffic signage in areas where speeding is an issue.
During her proclamation, McCollum recalled many of the city's historic milestones -- the confederated government of the Umpqua, Coos and Suislaw tribes; getting a post office presence; the Elmore Packing Co. cannery; the opening and closing of the Gardiner paper mill; and Reedsport's incorporation in 1919, to name a few -- and how they shaped Reedsport as it is today. She also mentioned the contributions of the people of Reedsport, locally as well as in the nation and world.
"Whereas: Reedsport is home to the many notable persons including professional sports players, radio and television personalities, politicians, doctors, inventors and directors of state and government organizations," she noted in the proclamation.
She ended the proclamation, "Now therefore: I, Linda McCollum, Mayor of the City of Reedsport, Douglas County, Oregon, hereby proclaim August 6, 2019 to be City of Reedsport Day and encourage all the citizens of the City of Reedsport to join in this observance."
Kathleen Miller, of the Centennial Committee, read a letter from Governor Kate Brown, congratulating Reedsport on the anniversary. Brown noted Reedsport's shift to tourism and thanked the community for highlighting the area's natural attractions and working to bring people to the area to enjoy them.
"As you celebrate your centennial, please accept my thanks for your spirit and determination and for your community's contribution to our great state," the governor wrote.
During the business of the meeting, the Council discussed a measure that would place signage along Winchester Avenue to remind drivers to slow down. Maggie Thomas, a resident of the area, was concerned about the speeds people drove near her home where the posted speed limit is 25 mph; according to the measure's background, when the police department tested the area with radar, they found the average speed of traffic at around 32 mph and within acceptable speed tolerance. Thomas felt the presence of the radar trailer changed people's driving habits and asked the council to install signs that display the speed limit with traffic's speed.
City Manager Jonathan Wright, however, noted the cost of such signs would be approximately $4,500 each, including labor, greatly exceeding the annual budget available, and opening a precedent for a similar response to speed complaints elsewhere. Given the lack of traffic incidents related to speed, he recommended the council install regular signs that reminded drivers to slow down; these signs would cost approximately $40 each, and could be easily deployed around town.
"This'll also allow us to assess the situation further, seeing if these signs work or have any effect on traffic patterns; and allow us another budget cycle to maybe anticipate the purchase of such an appliance in the future," Wright said.
Thomas said this would be a good start to a solution, but added she would bid for the signs again at the next budget meeting. Another resident spoke, confirming the speed issue, but saying stop signs would be a better solution. Councilor Ellen Anderson noted there were several places where speeding is an issue and that the cost of $4,000 signs for each would quickly escalate out of control; she and Councilor Mark Bedard agreed with the city's recommendation.
"I think we need to be a bit more conservative about what we're going to do," Anderson said. "We don't have a huge budget, and we need to think about that."
The measure also amends the traffic code to address hazards created when people park on both sides of Providence Drive and Foxglove Drive -- the measure states the roads become very narrow and hard to maneuver safely. After looking into the issue, the city recommended making one side of both streets restricted parking.
The Council voted 6-1 in favor of the measure with Councilor Leslie Collier dissenting.
Other business during the meeting included the following:
- The City of Reedsport renewed a contract with Coos County to provide housing of Coos County Community Corrections prisoners in the Reedsport Police Department's jail. According to Wright, prisoners who have been held in Reedsport have thanked the city after their time in the jail.
- The council voted to update Public Works job descriptions to include language for using updated technology.
- The council passed a measure authorizing an intrafund transfer and revising the 2019-20 budget.
- The council voted to purchase a new Sewer Utility vehicle, as well as a new Ford Police Interceptor SUV.
- The council approved a contract for sanitary sewer slip lining work.