Month: August 2014

Cow pasture hearing Tuesday

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes Keizer City Council meetings tend to draw rather small audiences. Next week could be different. The proposal to convert the “cow pasture” at Verda Lane into apartments will be discussed at another public hearing next week. The hearing will take place during the Tuesday, Sept. 2 council meeting, held a day later than normal due to the Labor Day holiday. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. in council chambers at Keizer Civic Center, 930 Chemawa Road N. Back on June 12, Keizer Hearings Officer Cynthia Domas held a public hearing to solicit feedback on the plans. Approximately 100 people filled council chambers that evening, with most speakers clearly against developer Mark Grenz of Multi-Tech Engineering’s proposal of turning the pasture land by Claggett Creek Park into 120-plus multi-level apartments. Herber Family LLC is attempting to change zoning from Single Family Residential to Medium Density Residential and to change the Lot Line Adjustment, consolidating the current 14 lots into one 7.5 acre parcel. Domas submitted her report to city leaders in July. “It is hereby found that the applicant has met the burden of proving the applicable standards and criteria for approval,” the recommendation reads in part. “It is recommended that the Comprehensive Plan map amendment, Zone Change and Lot Line adjustment be approved.” Councilors will have final authority on the issue and the...

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A look at the Big Toy budget

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes As originally planned, the Big Toy would be built at Keizer Rapids Park next month. The project has been delayed until June 2015, as previously reported in the Keizertimes. The delay is a good thing, when looking at the budget for the project. County Commissioner Janet Carlson, co-chair of the project’s fundraising committee, went over the most current numbers with the paper this week. The budget lists expenses estimated to be $416,509.80; of that amount, $197,400 has been raised so far. That equates to 47 percent. Separate from that, the budget calls for $326,073.70 in in-kind labor, with most of that being volunteered labor on the five build days next June 11 to 15. Of that amount raised, $100,000 comes from seed or plant money from the City of Keizer, in the form of System Development Charges funds. Another $85,000 comes from grants awarded so far, with the remaining $12,400 from contributions or sales. Carlson said the $85,000 in grants includes $30,000 each from Marion County and Keizer Rotary, plus $15,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation and $10,000 from the Keizer Parks Foundation. Carlson, the McNary High School graduate who has been working extensively with Keizer Public Works director Bill Lawyer, Community Build Task Force co-chair Richard Walsh and project general contractor Mark Caillier, said the hope is the money from Keizer Rotary...

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Fun, family come first for new girls soccer coach

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes AJ Nash’s primary goal as first-year head coach of the McNary High School girls soccer program is to foster a family atmosphere. If the first day of practice was any indication, the Lady Celts might make his job easy. “Today, we had a senior transfer student come out for the team. She fell behind in our run and two of the returning varsity players ran back a quarter of a mile to meet her and run with her the entire time until she caught up with the team,” Nash said. “It was awesome to see what it did for the three that did it, and for the team. They didn’t know who she was when they got here, but they do now.” As tryouts progressed this week, Nash planned on weighing displays of character as a quarter of the overall factors in judging who will make the teams, but he said it will be even more of an element as the season unfurls. “I want to listen to the assistant coaches and listen to the girls and allow them to make this program as fun as they want to make it. If we can have the reputation of having the most fun extra-curricular program, I think it will translate into wins on the field,” he said. Nash takes over the program from...

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More than 6,000 lose power

An accident led to the loss of power for a number of Keizer residents in the early morning hours Thursday, Aug. 28. According to a statement from Salem Electric, at 12:03 a.m. on Aug. 28 a car hit a transmission pole in the Salem area. That led to the Bonneville Power Administration de-energizing the transmission line feeding the Read and Alumina substations. Early numbers showed 6,772 Salem Electric customers in the Keizer area were impacted by the outage. The load was transferred to West Salem substations. Power was restored to all customers by 1:20...

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Cherriots moving forward with new outreach effort

By CRAIG MURPHY Of the Keizertimes No, there aren’t plans to add Saturday transit service back. Salem-Keizer Transit has been holding open houses recently as part of its Moving Forward initiative, a project designed to increase frequency on busy bus routes, establish consistent frequency and reduce coverage in low-ridership areas. One such open house was held Tuesday afternoon in the Keizer Civic Center lobby. Outreach events continue though the end of September; a list of the events can be found at www.cherriots.org/movingforward. The main emphasis of Moving Forward is to look at the first phase of proposed changes, which could be implemented next June. Adding weekend, holiday or extended evening service times would be in future phases. Jared Choc, Planning and Technology manager at Cherriots, noted the weekend question is a common one at outreach events. “Everyone tells us they want weekend service,” Choc said. “We have a proposal for that. This is preplanning for what Saturday service could be. We’re trying to do more with the resources we have.” Sadie Carney, director of Community Relations at Cherriots, said transit consultants did a bus service analysis which included surveys, polls and workshops. That led to the recommended changes being suggested in the outreach events. “Feedback will go to our planning staff,” Carney said. “Planning staff will come to us with a plan in February.” The Cherriots board is expected...

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