Work starts next week on a storm drain replacement on Arleta Place.

The contract will cost about $94,582. The bid from K&E Excavating was approved by the Keizer City Council, and is budgeted in the stormwater line item. The new drains will replace a previous, outdated system.

When finished, workers will have replaced three underground injection control (UIC) systems with drains that connect to the storm sewer system.

On-site percolation is the trend as of late – that is, trying to get water to go back into the ground, hence the rain gardens and retention ponds that are part of many modern construction projects. But Public Works Superintendent Bill Lawyer said the UIC systems simply had to go per state regulations.

As the name suggests, underground injection control systems collect water and insert it into the soil below. But Keizer draws its water from underground, and protecting the aquifer is essential.

“What that means is we have to either decommission them or go through extensive testing on an ongoing basis to defend the right to keep them there,” Lawyer said.

Arleta Place is not a thru street, so Lawyer expects little traffic disruption, but some driveways could be blocked at during construction.

– Jason Cox


Newberg Dem files to unseat Rep. Thatcher

A Newberg caterer and Democratic activist has filed to run against Rep. Kim Thatcher.

Sharon Freeman filed paperwork Tuesday. She’s the only Democrat who has entered the race. Thatcher, R–Keizer, has represented District 25 since 2004.

“The main thing is jobs and growth for our region here has sort of stagnated,” Freeman said. “I’d like to help that along. We need jobs and direction for getting business into Yamhill County. It needs to be managed growth, but we just need some help here.”

Freeman holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in liberal arts from the University of Texas at Tyler. A San Diego native, she moved with her husband to Yamhill County in 2003.

She traces her party involvement back to George McGovern’s presidential bid in 1972 and managed Sal Peralta’s legislative campaign in 2006.

– Jason Cox