The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, June 05, 2008, Page Page 10, Image 10

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    Page 10
The INDEPENDENT, June 5, 2008
Power of the People
By W. Marc Farmer,
General Manager,
West Oregon Electric Cooperative
To Build or Not to Build,
That is the Question!
Having been hit by flood wa-
ters twice in the last 11 years and
still recuperating from this last
one, we have a decision to make
regarding the relocation of the
WOEC Headquarters buildings. After five months of
looking at possible options and directions we could go,
we are ready to present our findings to our members
and obtain feedback. This decision is a major one that
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will affect the present and future of West Oregon Elec-
tric Cooperative and its members. We want to make
sure we provide all of the information we can and our
recommendation to the membership.
To best inform all of our members and allow for in-
teraction with them, we will be providing newspaper
articles throughout the next three months, an 8-page
insert in the July issue of Ruralite, holding a series of
District meetings during the last week in June, meeting
with our members at our Annual Meeting in August,
and conducting a member survey during the last week
in August and first two weeks in September.
The District Meetings will be held during the
evenings in each District and are open to all Co-op
members. You do not have to attend the meeting that
is held in your District, but are welcome to come to any
of the District meetings that fit your sched-
ule and location. Please refer to the list of
dates and locations at the end of this arti-
cle. We will have a presentation on the dif-
ferent options we have considered and the
recommendation for a new site and build-
ing, discuss the financial aspects of the
project, and have a question and answer
period. There will also be a door prize and
free compact florescent light bulbs given
out at each location.
While we remodeled the existing build-
ing to pre-flood conditions as required by
insurance and FEMA, we know we are sit-
ting ducks for the next flood. It is not a mat-
ter of if, but when we get hit again. As an
essential and emergency service, we need
to be focused on keeping the lights on dur-
ing an emergency, not on which boat to take staff out
in as we vacate the building when members need us
the most. Another important factor and concern I have
as the General Manager is not only the financial im-
pacts each time we go through an event like this one,
with almost four feet of water in our office, but the men-
tal and emotional impact on my staff and crews. It
takes a lot out of them, and we definitely do not want
to go through this a third time.
We have a unique opportunity due to the coverage
of this event throughout the country and the sincere in-
terest and support of our legislators. We have funds
committed to help relocate our facilities. These funds
of almost $2 million are available to help with the
costs, but are a one-time offer to the Co-op. This is the
best opportunity we will have to replace a 52 year-old
building we have already outgrown that sits in an ac-
tive flood plain, with a new facility that will serve us for
the next 50 plus years, and solve a lot of other issues
at the same time. To have available almost $2 million
in financial assistance is a real blessing to the Co-op
and its members. Please take the time to come and
view the presentation, discuss the issues with us, and
help us make this important decision for all of us, for
now and in the future.
All meetings will start at 7:00 p.m.:
June 23; Scout Cabin, Hawkins Park, Vernonia
June 24; Banks Library, 111 Market St.
June 25; Banks Christian Academy, 22785 N.W.
Fisher Rd., Buxton
June 26; Scappoose Library, 52469 S.E. 2nd St.
June 27; Natal Grange, 68175 Nehalem Hwy N.
June 30; Jewell School Auditorium, 83874 Hwy 103.
See you there!
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Open Tuesday-Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Closed Sunday and Monday
54372 Nehalem Hwy South, Vernonia, OR 97064
6 miles south of town on Hwy 47
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(503) 429-6606
720 Rose Avenue • Vernonia
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• PC Parts & Service
We Build New Computers
• Office Supplies
• Ink& Toner Refill
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Sales, Repairs & Accessories
• Office Supplies
Open: Mon - Fri 10 am - 6 pm & Sat 10 am - 5 pm
Tel: 503.429.8324
866 Bridge Street, Vernonia
Head Start is
now enrolling
Head Start, a federally fund-
ed preschool program, is seek-
ing students for the 2008-2009
school year, applications are
being taken now, through
June, in Columbia, Clatsop
and Tillamook Counties.
Prospective students must
be three or four years-old by
September 1, 2008. Eligibility
is based on income, family sit-
uation and needs of the child,
including whether there is a
disability or serious illness.
Head Start offers a total
family program that includes
nutrition, education, medical or
dental services for the enrolled
child and home visits. Training
on various subjects and on-
the-job training is offered to all
enrolled families. USDA ap-
proved meals are served. Lim-
ited transportation may be
Families who live in the Mist,
Birkenfeld and Vernonia areas
may phone 503-369-7249 for
information. Families living
near the Clatskanie Center
(503-728-2940), Rainier Cen-
ter (503-556-2807) and War-
renton Center (503-861-9681)
may call for more information.