Image provided by: University of Oregon Libraries; Eugene, OR
About Cottage Grove sentinel. (Cottage Grove, Or.) 1909-current | View Entire Issue (March 29, 2017)
C ottage G rove
PERSONAL i BUSINESS i BENEFITS i SURETY
CHGS track is off and running PAGE B1
SOUTH LANE AND DOUGLAS COUNTY'S MOST AWARD-WINNING NEWS SOURCE SINCE 1889
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29, 2017
FACEBOOK.COM/CGSENTINEL • TWITTER.COM/CGSENTINEL
Hats in the ring
for Stewart seat
Familiar names declare intention for
Faye Stewart's commission seat
By Caitlyn May
Lane County Com-
email@example.com missioner Faye Stew-
South Lane School District Superintendent Krista Parent joined Cottage Grove Mayor Jeff Gowing, Senator Floyd Prozanski, chamber director Tra-
vis Palmer, commissioner Faye Stewart and other local offi cials to break ground on the new Harrison Elementary School on Thursday, March 23.
By Caitlyn May
The fi rst drops began to fall just before 4:30 p.m. By the time
South Lane School District Communications Coordinator Gar-
rett Bridgens took to the podium to introduce the fi rst speaker,
spectators had left their perches on nearby hills and sought ref-
uge under a tent to join the standing room only crowd. While
rain poured steadily outside the tent, inside, the mood was
brighter than the sun.
"This is why I love Cottage Grove," Lane County Commis-
sioner Faye Stewart told the crowd. "We rally around and put
our community fi rst in our needs."
Stewart joined several community leaders on Thursday,
March 23 to break ground on the new Harrison Elementary
School slated to open in the fall of 2018.
The groundbreaking comes at the end of several years of ef-
fort on the part of the school district. According to school board
president Sherry Duerst-Higgins, the board knew eight years
ago that the current Harrison building would not continue to
meet the needs of the community's children. It was a notion
supported by second-grader Jeffrey Conklin during Thursday's
"I'm happy the hallways will not be as crowded," he told the
crowd, assisted to the podium by Parent and a step ladder. He
noted that the inconvience of not being able to have P.E. class-
es during lunch would fi nally fall to the wayside; the current
building's designated gymnasium is also the lunch room.
The program lasted just short of an hour, and despite a
scheduling confl ict that saw the groundbreaking taking place
at the same time as the UO Men's Basketball team's attempt to
advance in the NCAA tournament, more than 50 community
members turned out to support the new school.
"What a wonderful thing it is to live in a community that
continues to put children fi rst," Parent told the crowd.
Voters passed a $25 million bond measure in November to
fund the building of the school as well as other SLSD projects.
While Parent acknowledged the community's part in mak-
South Lane School District
breaks ground on $23 million
Harrison Elementary School
Please see SCHOOL PG. A9
"SOUP-ER" FUNDRAISER A SUCCESS
More than 200 Grovers
out to the 11th Annu-
al Soup-er fundraiser held by
"It was a great event," said Community Sharing
Executive Director Mike Fleck. "It was slow get-
ting together this year but it came together seem-
lessly." The event, which allows attendees to sam-
ple soups made by residents, raised over $9,000
"That's before expenses, so a few hundred dol-
lars in expenses and the rest goes to Community
Sharing," Fleck said.
The money raised will be able to be funneled
into the organization's unrestricted funds, allowing
it to utilize the money for a variety of purposes.
By Caitlyn May
art announced his res-
ignation on Tuesday,
March 21. Six days prior, Lane County
resident Kevin Matthews announced his
intention to run for the seat in 2018.
Now Matthews, along with Cottage
Grove staples Cindy Weeldreyer, Mike
Fleck and Gary Williams, are competing
to fi ll the seat a bit sooner.
The latest release from the county has
Stewart's resignation effective April 3 and the deadline to apply for
his position no later than 5 p.m. on April 6. Four of the sitting com-
missioners will interview qualifi ed candidates April 12 and make an
appointment soon after.
"I did the job successfully for eight years," Weeldreyer said of her
application. She served as commissioner from 1995 to 2002.
Currently, Weeldreyer serves several community organizations
including KNND radio, Bohemia Mining Days and Around the
"There's not anyone else with my journalistic training so Around
the Grove would most likely go away," Weeldreyer said of the
newsletter currently distributed once a week.
She will also have to say goodbye to the disabled clients she
works with if she were appointed.
"In the time I have been out of elected service, I've poured by
heart and soul into Cottage Grove," she said.
Currently a Cottage Grove City Councilman, Fleck has also seen
the majority of his service dedicated to the city.
Please see STEWART PG. A9
City council given prices for
By Caitlyn May
The Cottage Grove City
Council recommended that
staff move forward with a let-
ter of intent for a grant to repair
the Swinging Bridge during its
March 27 meeting.
The bridge, which has been
closed since the end of last year,
is eligible for an Oregon Parks
and Recreational Trails grant of
$150,000. The letter of intent
for the grant is due March 31.
"Staff feels concentrating on
one option versus three options
in the letter of intent would be
benefi cial in the grant process,"
city engineer Ron Bradsby
wrote to the council.
During the meeting, Bradsby
presented the council with three
options from OBEC Consulting
Engineers. While the plans were
described as tentative, OBEC
was able to include "ballpark"
"The fi rst option is an ugly,
off the truck bridge," Cottage
Grove City Manager Richard
Meyers told council. The cost of
the per-fabricated replacement
The annual Soup-er fundraiser drew 211 people, 13 soups and raised over $9,000.
Please see BRIDGE PG. A9
Please see SOUP PG. A11
Yes, there's lead. But is it
as bad as reported? City
says, 'No.' PAGE A8
Shauna Neigh of commu-
nity development resigns.
Real deal on Armory
Calendar ...................................... B11
Channel Guide ............................... B5
Classifieds ...................................... B7
Obituaries ...................................... A2
Opinion ......................................... A4
Sports ............................................ B1
bridge clocked in at around
Option two would cost rough-
ly $261,000 but would maintain
some movement in the bridge.
However, according to Brads-
by, the recommendation for the
second option would create a
bridge that did not meet current
"Basically, the option is us-
ing the existing bridge and re-
placing the aspects that have
failed like the upper cables and
the decking," Bradsby told The
Sentinel. While the replace-
ments would enable to bridge
to swing, OBEC reported that it
would exceed the 50 pounds per
lineal foot safety standard.
The issue of the city's liability
soon came into play with coun-
cilman Mike Fleck inquiring as
to whether or not the city would
be liable if an incident were to
occur on the bridge should the
city decide on the second op-
"It's diffi cult with pedestrian
things. If you build something
and it doesn't follow existing
codes, you are liable," Meyers
(541) 942-3325 ph • (541) 942-3328 fax
P.O. Box 35, Cottage Grove, OR 97424
Corner of Sixth and Whiteaker, Cottage Grove
VOLUME 129 • NUMBER 37