By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
The recently amended master plan for Keizer Rapids Park includes projects such as the Big Toy playground structure, fields for soccer, softball and volleyball, an indoor sports facility and an expanded trail system.
Another possible project: information about historic floods in Keizer.
Members of the Keizer Points of Interest Committee (KPIC) met Jan. 20 to discuss a flood history sign project.
Information compiled by Brian Hanssen shows floods along the Willamette River in Keizer over the years. Hanssen recommended putting in a sign with markings for the various floods.
According to Hanssen’s information, the flood stage is at 23 feet, 8 inches. That mark has been surpassed several times, with the highest level of 47 feet in 1861. Other high marks include 45 feet, 3 inches in 1890 and 44 feet, 5 inches in 1881.
There were also floods of 39 feet (1923); 38 feet, 6 inches (1943); 37 feet (1901 and 1964); 36 feet, 5 inches (1903, 1907 and 1945); 35 feet, 1 inch (1996); 35 feet (1946) and 33 feet (1927, 1955 and 1961).
“It shows historic flood levels in Keizer,” deputy city recorder Debbie Lockhart told KPIC members. “We don’t have a cost (for the sign), but it’s already been surveyed. I would suggest markings at the (KRP) boat ramp. You’ll be asking council to direct staff to mark the pilings. It’s a neat idea. A lot of people would enjoy seeing that.”
KPIC member Charlotte Clark agreed.
“It’s a true point of interest,” Clark said.
Lockhart also suggested putting in a sign or kiosk nearby to explain the flood levels.
Jill Bonney-Hill, KPIC chair, spoke at the Keizer City Council later that evening about the project.
“We’d like to ask to have these put on the pilings on the boat ramp at Keizer Rapids Park,” Bonney-Hill said. “We have all the markings of the different flood levels. Hopefully it will be in white so people can see it. We also want to put a kiosk up at Keizer Rapids Park explaining the pilings.”
Mayor Cathy Clark liked the idea.
“Send a funding proposal to the city manager about the kiosk,” Clark said.
Bonney-Hill also submitted a bid from Sign Crafters of Oregon for $157.27 to do a 40 inch by 54 inch sign depicting the history of Japanese Americans in the Keizer area. City staff will be putting the sign up on the other side of the Marie Dorion sign at Pfc. Ryan J. Hill Memorial Park in Keizer Station.
“When we asked for funding for the Marie Dorion signs, we told you at the time we would be coming back and asking for funding on the other side for the Japanese American project,” Bonney-Hill told councilors. “I’m here to ask you for $157.27.”
Clark sought to clarify if the sign would be similar in size to the Marie Dorion one.
“We’re trying to match the size and the color,” Bonney-Hill said. “This is exactly what it would look like.”
Clark was impressed.
“A lot of research has gone into this,” she said. “This is beautiful.”
KPIC members also picked up a new project at their Jan. 20 meeting. Lyndon Zaitz, publisher of the Keizertimes and president of the Keizer Heritage Center, noted the old schoolhouse will be turning 100 years old in 2016.
“We have appointed a centennial committee,” Zaitz said. “I come before KPIC to ask for your help and to choose one of you to be on the committee.”
KPIC vice chair Sherrie Gottfried immediately volunteered.
“How fun,” Gottfried said. “I’d love to.”
Zaitz noted the committee, being chaired by JoAnne Beilke, had just been formed the week before so no meeting schedule had been put together yet. Meetings will happen approximately every month, with a date for the actual centennial celebration yet to be determined.
“This will rock,” Gottfried said.