Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current, April 01, 2015, Image 5

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    Polk County Itemizer-Observer • April 1, 2015 5A
Polk County News
City’s parks plan grounded
Child abuse awareness walk slated
Indy airpark
residents don’t
like idea for a
park in area
DALLAS — An awareness walk sponsored by Polk County
CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), Department of
Human Services and the Polk County Multidisciplinary Team will
take place Monday from noon to 1 p.m. starting at the Polk
County Courthouse steps.
The event is designed to raise community awareness about
the issue of child abuse, and is part of Child Abuse Awareness
and Prevention Month, which takes place in April.
Everyone is welcome to attend, and participants are asked to
wear blue to show support of children.
For more information: Katey Axtell, 503-623-9286, ext. 1301;
email to axtell.katey@co.polk.or.us.
On April 11, CASA will hold its first charity auction and dinner
at Eola Hills Wine Cellars, 501 S. Pacific Highway (99W), Rickreall.
The $50 admission includes dinner, dessert and a glass of wine,
beer or hard cider. A silent auction will help raise money for the
volunteer CASA program, which helps abused and neglected
Tickets can be purchased by calling Polk County CASA, 503-
623-9268, ext. 1301, or by emailing axtell.katey@co.polk.or.us or
By Emily Mentzer
The Itemizer-Observer
locations were proposed for
future parks in the Inde-
pendence Airpark communi-
ty, and resident Gary Brown
is unhappy with the idea.
“Aircraft are a draw to
young people — I know it
was to me,” he wrote in a let-
ter to the city expressing his
discontent with a park in his
community. “However, this
residential airpark is co-lo-
cated on a state airport, with
private and commercial op-
erations that could and most
likely would come into con-
flict with younger, non-air-
craft savvy persons being in
close proximity due to natu-
ral curiosity or … as opportu-
nities for vandalism or theft.”
Brown wasn’t the only one
to send the city letters against
the proposal, said Shawn
Irvine, Independence eco-
nomic development director.
“We’ve gotten a few re-
sponses, none in support,”
Irvine said. “What we’ve
heard them say is what we
expected them to say, frankly,
(they) don’t really like outside
people coming into the air-
park who aren’t familiar with
But, Irvine argues, the
question had to be asked.
“We shouldn’t assume they
don’t want to be involved,”
Irvine said. “Maybe (residents
of the airpark) want a walking
trail. A couple of them have
mentioned they’d like a pick-
le ball court in the communi-
ty somewhere.”
The community at the air-
park is underserved as far as
access to city parks are con-
cerned, Irvine noted. Access
is defined by level of service
standards, a way to quantify
how many parks a commu-
nity needs and where it
needs them.
Discussion planned on county levy
WEST SALEM — The first in a series of community gatherings
to discuss the Polk County public safety levy will be held Tues-
day at 7 p.m. at the Salem Electric Building, 633 Seventh St. NW,
West Salem.
County officials will be on hand to present information
about the current budget situation and recent cutbacks to the
sheriff, district attorney, jail, parole and probation, and juvenile
A gathering has also been scheduled for April 9 at 7 p.m. at
the Grand Ronde Community Hall. Additional meeting dates
and locations will be announced at a later time.
For more information: Lynnette Henshaw, 503-507-1091.
Transportation fee proposed for city
MONMOUTH — The Monmouth street funding task force,
named in January, will present a recommendation to the Mon-
mouth City Council Tuesday night to create a transportation
utility fee.
“If the council accepts that idea, then we’d hire a consultant
to create the utility and the fee itself,” City Manager Scott Mc-
Clure said. “It will be part of our street fund, but in this case we
have to establish the expenses and costs that we’re trying to
cover, then allocate those costs.”
If the utility is approved, buildings will be charged a fee
based on the number of “trips taken.” McClure said a law office
would have fewer trips to and from the building, so would have
a lower transportation utility fee, while a drive-thru restaurant
would have a higher trip number resulting in a higher fee.
The council will discuss the topic during its work session,
which typically starts at about 7:30 p.m. after the regular city
council meeting, which starts at 7, at Volunteer Hall, 144 S. War-
ren St.
GREENWORKS PC/ for the Itemizer-Observer
The four green lots shown in the Independence Airpark (pink area) are proposed parks
for the city’s master plan. Residents of the area were not happy with the options.
“You’re supposed to be
within a five- or 10-minute
walk from a neighborhood
park,” Irvine said as an ex-
Six plots were proposed
for a possible park, either on
buildable land within the air-
park community or in right-
of-way, Irvine said. If a build-
able lot was chosen, the city
would have to find the funds
to pay for the lot.
Many people think of 5-
year-old children running
around on a playground
when they think of parks,
Irvine said.
“They don’t think exercise
equipment or jogging trail or
a spotting station for air-
planes, something that would
interest adults,” he noted.
Brown said he thinks a
park in the airpark would not
be used by airpark residents,
but rather younger people.
“My neighbors and I enjoy
a high degree of freedom
from victimization due to
the type of community in
which we live,” Brown said.
The final open house on
the Independence parks
master plan is April 9, Irvine
said. At that time, residents
may have a say on the final
draft before it goes to the
planning commission and
city council.
“If they don’t want any
recreation amenities at the
airpark, that’s totally fine, but
we asked,” Irvine said, not-
ing that it may have been
better communication to list
a “none of the above” option
on the parks survey.
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The 2015 PEP Talks Series features six workshops led by local
leaders in their respective fields of expertise and are designed
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INDEPENDENCE — Polk County Fire District No. 1’s Board of
Directors will begin interviewing finalists for a new fire chief at
the end of April.
Emergency Services Consulting International (ESCI), the con-
sulting company the board hired to find the new chief, began
background checks on the applicants on March 20, and con-
ducted phone interviews March 25. Final interviews are sched-
uled for April 23-25.
ESCI received 10 applications for the job, one from an internal
candidate, said Deputy Chief Neal Olson.
Fire Board Chairman Joost Vanderhave expects the candi-
dates will be narrowed down to three to five before the board
gets more involved in the interview process.
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