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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Dec. 1, 2007)
voice letters to the editor
From Your Elected Officials: Long Range Plans for Vernonia
By Sally Harrison, Vernonia Mayor
I was asked by “Vernonia’s Voice” to write to you again. This time I thought I’d tell
you about some long range plans in the works.
Let me digress a little and give you my take on why this kind of planning is so vital.
Since the City of Vernonia doesn’t have a business based economy, that leaves the
home owners as the only tax resource for major infrastructure projects and the day
to day operation of the city. Who pays for water, sewer, streets, storm water control,
park maintenance and police protection? You, the homeowners, do through property
taxes and water and sewer rates. Wouldn’t it be lovely to set the stage for something
or someone else to help share this responsibility? What we need to do is draw on
the assets we have to make that a reality. “What assets?” you may ask. Well, look
around. We have beautiful parks, a linear trail, and a state park in our back yard. We
have a bike skill park being built and a skate park in the works. We have events and
festivals that are well attended and a refreshingly old fashioned town with friendly
citizens. We also have the benefit of our rich logging history. All of these assets can
be used to build a tourist industry. If the businesses we have and other businesses
that will come were also to succeed and prosper, they can contribute to the care of
the community. As we encourage and support local business and projects, we are
forging our way to economic stability.
The two areas I personally have earmarked for improvement are the Vernonia Air-
port and the replacement and realignment of the Mile Bridge (aka Green Bridge
in Riverview). The Vernonia Airport has been our “Little Jewel” for years. Being
adjacent to the golf course and a stunningly beautiful park plus its close proximity to
Vernonia makes it an ideal project for improvement. In years past, it’s barely paid its
own way. Now it’s in the red to the Vernonia taxpayers to the tune of $10,000. This
is unacceptable. It is an asset that should not only be paying its own way but helping
the community. With the help of the Airport Committee, we are well on the road to
achieving that goal. Tim Bero has purchased property adjacent to the airport and has
graciously offered the city 600 ft. to be added to the end of the runway. Hopefully,
this will open the door for grants to make the needed improvements to the airport.
Also, Mr. Bero will be putting airport related businesses on his own property. In
order to use the airport these businesses will contract with the city. A win-win situ-
As to the Mile Bridge, about a year and a half ago we met with ODOT representa-
tives to discuss the need to replace it. It was on their STIP to be replaced in 2009.
I’m assuming because of budgetary constraints it has been pushed to 2011-2013. I
cannot stress how important that bridge will be to the community. With the impend-
ing linear park coming our way from Scappoose, we will need a way for bicycle,
horse and pedestrian traffic to safely cross the Nehalem River. It will be wonderful
when the Crown Zellerbach trail and the Vernonia/Banks linear trail hook up at
Vernonia Lake making Vernonia the destination hub. Unfortunately, before we can
really get down to serious planning of the lake development, we need to know the
plans ODOT has for the bridge. I’ve been given assurance by an ODOT representa-
tive that these plans will be forthcoming.
Just a reminder, we are not advocating the replacement of this bridge for aesthetic
reasons only. It has serious problems like peeling lead paint and a 54% rating at its
last inspection. They had to remove the new road overlay due to weight restrictions.
So there are real concerns about its stability. After the bridge disaster in the mid-
west, I feel any bridge that is considered marginal should be closely monitored.
There you have two long range plans. We are also having an engineering report done
that will give us the proper picture of the city’s infrastructure needs concerning wa-
ter, sewer, storm water and streets. I am not anticipating good news, but at least we
will know where we stand and can start the long range planning to fix it.
We are also starting the lengthy and expensive process of finding a new city admin-
istrator. Unfortunately this will take time and money I would much rather have spent
in other areas, but here we are.
Due to personnel changes and the budgetary constraints of the city, it is with my
deepest regret that I must cancel the Mayor’s Ball this year. I want to thank every-
one for their support last year. It was great fun and good deeds were accomplished.
Hopefully next year we will be able to continue, and it will be bigger and better.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to call me at 503-429-8425
or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In support of Vernonia’s Voice!
IF YOU NEED LOCAL TOWING SERVICE
IN THE VERNONIA AREA-
Make sure you request service from a local provider.
Police and County personnel are required to use a rotating
pool of available providers, unless you speciﬁcally ask for a
service by name.
For towing emergencies this winter in and around the
Vernonia area, please ask for
R & R TOWING
community learning center
We would like to thank the Vernonia community for volunteering,
taking classes, & offering other forms of support. Because of
your involvement, the VCLC is entering into its 2nd year,
stronger and busier than ever. Thank you very much.
With demand for classes and services increasing, so is our list of supplies
needed to meet these demands. Help us enter into the new year,
by considering the VCLC when you give this holiday season.
There for you, when you need it the most!
Creatures & Flowers
Diamond Quality Pet foods and Supplies
We carry Hillsboro Feed!
Special Orders Welcome!
(503) 429-PETS (7387)
736 Bridge Street
More Local Instructors
Quality Art Supplies
it’s the center
Please contact or visit the VCLC
for specific details & wish list items.
939 bridge street