Of the Keizertimes

Now that 2013 is here, what can we expect? One can never tell what could come up, but here are some subjects to keep an eye on in the year ahead.

Development: Keizer Station vs. River Road

 An ongoing topic in recent years has been proposals and development at Keizer Station. Look for the trend to continue in 2013.

Plans have been submitted for an Outback Steakhouse, which would be the first “sit down” type restaurant in the shopping area. Between that and the recent opening of Panera Bread, one question is how much momentum can be created.

As Keizer Station continues to develop, the lack of a hotel and gas station continues to stand out.

At the same time, will such development continue at the expense of the River Road retail sector?


New look for Keizer City Council

While Mayor Lore Christopher retains her seat, she will be surrounded by three new members on the Keizer City Council in Dennis Koho, Marlene Quinn and Ken LeDuc.

Among the interesting tidbits: Koho is a former Keizer mayor, Quinn is a longtime city volunteer and LeDuc has been working to get up to speed after being vice president of the West Keizer Neighborhood Association.

Quinn has been vice chair of the Volunteer Coordinating Committee. After filling in as chair at the VCC meeting last month, Quinn reported to council a few days later board members felt intimidated, among other things, though others reported the meeting ran smoothly. That has raised some questions about how Quinn will handle controversial subjects as a councilor.


Possible new sport facilities in the Keizer area

The organization 25 fields for Oregon has proposed building 25 pro-level soccer fields on land just east of Keizer city limits, with the hope that the facility is ready in early 2014. If things go as proposed, a large number of out-of-town and out-of-state teams would be coming to the Keizer area about a year from now.If that indeed happens within the next year, what impact would that have on Keizer? Would amenities – most particularly hotel(s) – have to be started in 2013 to get ready for the rush?To a lesser extent, there is also the possibility of new much-needed tennis courts at Claggett Creek Park, though as this week’s story mentions, there’s no certain timeline for that project. 

Will budget constraints continue or lessen?

Budget talks have often included the word “tight” in recent years. For example, the Keizer Police Department had to make due with less revenue in 2012. Will that continue again, or will the city try asking the public again for financial help? The last public service levy, in November 2011, failed in a big way.

Projected cuts at Keizer City Hall were spared in 2012, but will the same be true in 2013? In schools, the Salem-Keizer School District is projecting having to make $20 million in cuts this year. If that happens, what will the impact be on Keizer’s schools?


What about parks not named Keizer Rapids?

In recent years, there have been noticeable improvements at Keizer Rapids Park. In particular, that has meant a new boat ramp and the Keizer Rapids Off-Leash Dog Park.

But Keizer has 17 others parks in its system, some of which have been needing repairs or upgrades. Will such balance be seen in 2013?