It was a quiet week for council which doesn’t hold meetings on the first week of the month. I will use this week’s blog to complete my report from last week.
On Wednesday, the 26th, council reviewed and agreed to move forward on a pilot project to allow e-scooters on shared paths in the city. The proposed pilot is based on research of the benefits and challenges e-scooters have presented in other cities, and community outreach with 541 community members in Eugene. Approximately 57% of respondents were either totally on board or interested in the pilot but concerned about safety and other issues. About 43% were completely opposed. The pilot will seek bids from companies that meet criteria around sustainability, equity, safety, and the potential for speed monitoring and regulation. The pilot will include the whole city rather than be limited to specific neighborhoods to give us more complete information based on different neighborhood demographics and characteristics.
On Saturday, Feb. 29th, the budget committee met for its first broad conversation about economic trends, PERS and other factors that will influence budget decisions. Of $808 in the city’s current FY 2020 budget, $229 is contained in the General Fund, which is the only discretionary spending. The remainder is designated funding based on dedicated revenue streams. The committee will begin full discussions on April 29th when the City Manager Sarah Medary presents her budget proposal.
This coming Wednesday, Acting Fire Chief Heppel will present council with information about the city’s preparations in the event of a Coronavirus outbreak. Lane County Public Health is the responsible agency for overseeing these preparations and the city website directs visitors to the County’s site for up-to-date information. At the same time, Eugene-Springfield Fire and Emergency Services will be responding to calls and transporting patients if and when necessary. I encourage you to visit the County’s Public Health site: www.lanecountyor.gov/coronavirus.