Beaver dam causing local flooding

Keizer has beavers and their dam is causing issues for some southeast Keizer residents.

Devon Kraxberger and Jose Ceja addressed the Keizer City Council on Monday, July 17, asking for help regarding flooding of their respective properties due to a beaver dam.

Kraxberger related that she had been in touch with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to see what could be done. She had sent photos to the city earlier in the day of the flooding on her property. City manager Adam Brown said the city’s environmental department will investigate and discover what the city can do in face of state regulations.

In its only public hearing of the meeting the council approved a resolution exempting the purchase of a subscription for specialized software services for the city’s legal department from competitive bidding. City Attorney Shannon Johnson told the council that the software, from Caret, used by Keizer since 2009, is a management tool for case and file management. It is a three year subscription that Johnson noted was more cost effective than a one year subscription. The resolution was approved unanimously.

Rick Kuehn of the Traffic Safety-Bikeways-Pedestrian Committee reported that the committee was still working on the Neighborhood Traffic Management Plan, but getting signatures from affected residents was more difficult than expected. Kuehn also reported that many residents are concerned about speed limits on Verda Lane, especially between Chemawa Road NE and Dearborn Avenue NE. 

Mayor Cathy Clark said that the city was in line for a grant of more than $700,000 to address issues of sidewalks on that stretch of the arterial. 

In other traffic news, Brown said that a crosswalk with a flashing beacon on Lockhaven Drive N at McNary High School is under review by engineers. He added that such a project would cost at least $70,000. The crosswalk has been a priority for the traffic safety committee. 

Ed Davis of Salem and Chuck Ito of Keizer gave the council a preview of a visit in August of school students from a suburb of Matsuyama, Japan.T hey reported that 16 middle school students will visit Keizer to learn about American culture. 

The council approved $14,700 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for Keizer Klosets, a Keizer Community Foundation project of in-school aid for students in need at 10 Keizer schools. The money is used to purchase food, hygiene products and clothing items. Foundation president Audrey Butler and Lore Christopher made a presentation about the on-going need in local elementary, middle and the high school. 

On a cultural note the council approved the renaming of the public art at the round-about at Chemawa Road NE and Verda Lane from Rosalie’s Cows to Rosalie’s Silly Cows, how Rosalie Herber used to call her cows at the family’s dairy farm above Claggett Creek Park. 

Two resolutions affecting the city’s budget committee and planning commission were passed, which prohibits a person being a member of both bodies at the same time. 

The night’s biggest money allocation was the approval of $204,000 for new vehicles for the Keizer Police Department. The money will purchase four patrol vehicles and a half-ton truck. Police Chief John Teague said patrol vehicles need to be replaced every four years. 

Councilor Robert Husseman was the only no vote, prefacing his vote with comments about other expenditures the city faces. “If there’s a choice between a new police vehicle and that crosswalk (Lockhaven Drive at McNary High School with flashing beacon), I’ll happily take that crosswalk,” Husseman said. Adding that he hopes that a new crosswalk near the school would mitigate the need for a few police trips. 

The next scheduled regular city council meeting is Monday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m