Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current, March 18, 2015, Image 11

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March 18, 2015
Tidying up
Continued from page 1A
Volunteer Montana Andrews does her part
to clean up downtown by clearing out a tree
well. Organizers with the Cottage Grove
Main Street program and the City of Cottage
Grove described Friday morning’s “Tidy
up the Town” event, which drew volunteers
downtown to clean the area’s sidewalks
and other amenities, as a big success, with
47 volunteers participating. As part of the
cleanup, litter was removed, weeds pulled,
moss removed and the sidewalks were
swept and blown off. The City said that de-
bris cleaned from the sidewalks and pushed
into the street would be rounded up when
the street was swept on Monday.
photo by Jon Stinnett
Continued from page 1A
Community Development Di-
rector Howard Schesser told the
Council that this component of
the plan informed all the others.
“You need to deal with this
element fi rst; all the others will
fall in line afterward,” he told
the Council, which proceeded
to spend most of the evening on
that one element.
Councilor Mike Fleck pro-
posed a plan to narrow the width
of the travel lanes to a less dras-
tic 14 ½ feet.
“The advantage would be that
if we want to phase in new street
trees, they’d be in the right spot
in the sidewalks,” Fleck said.
Councilor Jake Boone op-
posed the 14 ½ foot travel lane,
stating that the research he had
been reading pointed out that
narrower lanes lead to slower
travel speeds, less accidents and
less severe injuries.
Councilor Jeff Gowing agreed
with Fleck, stating that Main
Street is the main route to get
from one side of Cottage Grove
to the other.
“I would hate to see that go
away,” Gowing said. “There are
not a lot of avenues to get across
town in a straight shot.”
Gowing mentioned log and
delivery trucks that would be
diffi cult to reroute around Main
Street, and Mayor Tom Munroe
Councilor Garland Burback
said large trucks and equipment
should not travel through the
downtown core. Councilor Kate
Price asked the main reason be-
hind the plan to widen the side-
walks, to which City Planner
Amanda Ferguson replied that
wider sidewalks were planned
as a way to add more amenities
such as restaurant tables to the
sidewalks, in addition to provid-
ing a wider travel lane for pe-
“A lot of studies show that
wider sidewalks could have
great impacts on economic vi-
tality in the Historic District,”
Ferguson said.
Councilor Heather Murphy
said she had heard “virtually no
consistency” from anyone re-
garding the entire plan. She said
that the Council should focus on
what it believes the nature of the
Historic District should be.
“If the vision for downtown
is to make it more pedestrian
and street business friendly,
then narrower lanes make
sense,” Murphy said. “If we
want to maintain Main Street as
a corridor for major traffi c, we
wouldn’t want that to happen. If
we’re going to redo Main Street,
we need to know our basic plan,
and we’re not in any way going
to be able to please everybody.”
Gowing said that most of the
downtown business owners he
talked to didn’t want to widen
the sidewalks, adding that he
was fi ne with being in the mi-
nority on that issue.
Councilor Price agreed with
Councilor Murphy’s framing of
the main issue.
“There are three core is-
sues,” she said. “The crown of
the road, the sidewalks and the
trees. I think it’s worth getting
an idea on those three.”
Councilor Gowing reiterated
that Main Street is the “heart-
line” of Cottage Grove.
“I would keep it the same
way,” he said. Mayor Munroe
agreed, stating that, as a retired
truck driver, “the more room I
have, the better.”
Mayor Munroe put forth a
possible compromise of nar-
rowing the travel lanes to 13 ½
Gowing and Fleck said they
could support the Mayor’s no-
tion of a compromised set of
measurements, to which Boone
responded that he thought 12-
foot travel lanes should be the
maximum. Murphy stated that
the compromise wouldn’t ac-
complish either the objective of
maintaining a clear thorough-
fare for all types of traffi c or
making the area more pedes-
trian friendly.
“I think we’re just trying to
compromise because we want
to,” she said.
The Council realized that
three of its members supported
a compromise and three did not.
Councilor Price stated more
than once that she believed the
more fi scally responsible option
should win out.
The Council next spent time
talking about the Main Street
Ask your
Advertising Representative
how you can advertisise in
Shamrocks & Savings
trees before being redirected to
the subject of the street mea-
“Let’s try to agree at least on
that fi rst portion,” Mayor Mun-
roe said.
In the end, Gowing, Fleck
and the Mayor decided that they
would stand in the minority of
those who opposed narrower
streets and wider sidewalks, and
the Council moved on to other
Regarding the street trees,
Boone said that the plan’s rec-
ommendation to have the City
responsible for any trees as op-
posed to business owners was
very important. Ferguson point-
ed out that part of the reason
the trees are in bad shape now
is that they’ve been variously
maintained by business owners
over time. City Manager Rich-
ard Meyers said if the current
trees were to be saved, the City
would essentially be spending
all the property taxes it receives
from the downtown core and
spending it on the trees.
The Council ultimately decid-
ed to follow the plan’s recom-
mendation of a gradual phasing-
out of the trees while attempting
to fi nd an alternative source of
funding for their maintenance.
The Council will revisit the
Main Street Refi nement Plan at
its Monday, March 23 meeting.
The plan could pass unanimous-
ly in one meeting, or it could
pass with majority votes at two
successive meetings.
some have questioned the
wisdom of buying the car.
“Some people are hung up
on, ‘Why would you pay $5000
for that old beat-up car?’” he
said. “But that’s the wrong way
to look at it. This is a piece of
Cottage Grove history. The car
was built in response to the
movie that was fi lmed here; it’s
a piece of nostalgia, and it gives
us something to show off that
reminds people of the history
behind it. It’s not worth much as
a car, but is worth a lot as a Cot-
tage Grove attraction.”
Palmer said he’s wanted the
Deathmobile to stay in Cottage
Grove since he heard of its ex-
istence but didn’t know if others
felt the same way until the fund-
raising effort proved successful.
“I went to college watching
that fi lm every few months; it’s
one of those cult classics, and it
would be great to let other peo-
ple see that it was fi lmed here,”
he said.
Continued from page 3A
them, presented a plaque to
Axe & Fiddle owner Bart Cari-
dio in recognition of the part the
pub plays in hosting the shows.
Then it was Kahane’s turn to
be recognized, and Oxley pro-
duced a large cake made by the
Backstage Bakery nearby before
presenting a letter from a very
notable Habitat for Humanity
supporter, former United States
President Jimmy Carter.
“ Congratulations on 100
months of service with the Cot-
tage Grove Area Habitat for Hu-
manity,” the letter read. “Your
hosting of Open Mic Night has
helped raise awareness of Habi-
tat’s work and generated support
for their mission. Your dedica-
tion to their fi ne cause is espe-
cially noteworthy as you have
also won a battle with cancer
during this same time. Rosal-
ynn joins me in sending you our
warm best wishes for continued
health and happiness.”
Kahane pointed out that he
has been cancer-free for a year
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"It’s not worth
much as a car, but
is worth a lot as a
Cottage Grove
— Chamber Director
Travis Palmer
The Chamber must now fi gure
out how to insure the car, includ-
ing whether it can be licensed to
the Chamber itself. Palmer said
Brad Cohen of Brad’s Cottage
Grove Chevrolet has offered to
temporarily store the Deathmo-
“We’d hoped to have it bought
already, but we had delays with
the insurance process,” Palm-
er said. He said the Chamber
hopes to raise a few more dol-
lars to refurbish certain aspects
of the car, after which the plan
is to drive it in parades this sum-
mer including Bohemia Mining
Days, the KNND car show in
July and other events.
(with the purchase of a riding mower
see store for details)
Sale Ends 03/21/15
CCB #205210
and a half and thanked those
who hosted the open mic while
he fought the disease.
“I was thrilled,” he said about
the recognition. “How often do
you get a letter from an ex-pres-
ident? I didn’t expect it at all.”
Kahane said that the idea for
the open mic began those many
years ago when Habitat’s Cindy
Armstrong asked him to host a
jam night at the newly opened
Axe & Fiddle. Preferring the
open mic format as a way to bet-
ter showcase local musicians,
Kahane decided instead on the
open mic.
“The musicians are the rea-
son it has been as successful as
it has,” he said. “Anywhere you
go, you fi nd people that play mu-
sic at home, people that hardly
anyone gets to hear. If you know
that at least once a month you’re
going to be onstage, you start
playing more, and it makes you
better. It’s good for the musi-
cians, and it’s raised thousands
for Habitat. It’s a win-win-win
all around, and I’m proud to be
a part of it.”