Day: December 20, 2010

Fee cut coming for Keizer utility customers

Sewer and stormwater fees were cut back at a Keizer City Council meeting Monday, Dec. 20. Councilors voted to cut back the rates to 5 percent. The sewer franchise fee has been 7 percent since July, when the council raised it. Previously it was 5 percent. The 7 percent stormwater franchise fee was a new revenue source added at the beginning of the fiscal year. The rates were scheduled to go down to 5 percent in July 2011, but councilors opted to cut them back now. The sewer fee reductions are expected to save residential customers about $5 in the next six months, with savings of $55 for a mid-sized multifamily facility and about $250 for a commercial building like a grocery store. As for the stormwater fee cuts, residential customers can expect to save about 46 cents in the next six months. Both cuts combined are expected to cut revenues to the city by about $57,400. More in Friday’s...

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Partial smoking ban could come to city’s park system

By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Tobacco use could be banned in parts of Keizer’s parks as a year-long pilot project. The city’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board passed a motion Tuesday evening prohibiting tobacco near playgrounds, at large gatherings and in areas presenting a particular safety danger. The Keizer City Council will have the final say. A safety issue would be where fire is a risk. Terry Witham, parks operations supervisor for the city, said Keizer Rapids Park sometimes gets dry enough in the summer that all burning is prohibited. Board Chair Jeanne Bond-Esser wanted to see a system-wide ban, but board member Rick Day wasn’t a fan of completely disallowing tobacco in parks. But Day said he agreed with reasoning that children shouldn’t be exposed to tobacco use and safety should be a consideration, both as a fire risk and risk of second-hand smoke in large crowds. “I’m sick and tired of people being regulated in every area of their lives,” Day said. “… So I think we need to have reasons for what we do.” Bond-Esser gave the example of “wintertime on the gravel bar (smoking) by yourself” as a behavior some board members thought shouldn’t be disallowed. The impetus for discussion came from Emily Ostrem, a health educator for Marion County. The county is working with the cities of Salem and Stayton on similar issues. The...

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