When will the water tank welcome people to Keizer?

Mayor Lore Christopher said the blank, white elevated storage tank alongside Interstate 5 would finally be marked with “Welcome to Keizer” within 90 days after councilors pressed city staff to get the ball rolling.

Problem is the person who would be in charge of doing so says there’s “no way” he can meet that deadline.

At the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon Tuesday Christopher said an agreement between the city and the Oregon Utility Notification Center would allow the city a cost-free way to place the message on the water tank. Specifically the “Call Before You Dig” folks would put up the lettering in exchange for posting their 811 logo and message alongside the city’s message

“I’ve had three businesses say we need the water tank,” Christopher said. “… Within 90 days the water tank will say ‘Welcome to Keizer.’”

This came as a surprise to Public Works Director Rob Kissler, who said there’s “no way that lettering is getting up there in 90 days.”

And City Manager Chris Eppley said that while he “appreciates the mayor’s enthusiasm, 90 days is probably a bit ambitious.”

Kissler said he’d been approached by OUNC, saying the parties were “starting a process” that includes consultation with the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde and Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, who jointly own the property where the water tower sits. Both the city council and the two tribes must agree on a message.

The tribes had come up with a logo but Councilor Cathy Clark said she and other city leaders wanted to avoid commercial speech.

“We have resisted the idea of allowing that to become a defacto billboard,” Clark said, noting the billboards within the city are grandfathered in and the municipal code won’t allow more of them.”

Both Clark and Christopher said the expense of painting the tower was prohibitive, which makes a partnership with OUNC “cost-effective,” Clark added.

Kissler added it’s only a “possibility” the city would not incur any costs.

– Jason Cox

Grocer to keep self checkout machines

Keizer’s Albertsons will not be among those tossing their self-checkout lanes.

MSNBC reported over the weekend Albertsons LLC, which operates 217 stores in seven states, is getting rid of all self-checkout lanes.

But more than 450 Albertsons stores – including the Keizer location – are operated by Supervalu.

“Self-service check-out is being taken out of Albertsons LLC stores, not the Albertsons-SuperValu stores,” said Lilia Rodriguez, a SuperValu spokesperson. “No stores in the Keizer area will lose their self-service.”

Thanks to Mike Allegre for sending us the question.

– Jason Cox