Eugene old and new characterized council concerns this week.
On Monday night after the public forum, council, as members of the Urban Renewal Agency, discussed the challenges posed by the old Agripac building. This almost 100-year old, unreinforced masonry building embodies our legacy as a food processing center. It has been stored on EWEB property for the past four years while a local businessman pursued financing to relocate it as part of a new restaurant on Franklin Boulevard. That financing has not materialized. The building is too unstable to move without significant investment, and is located where soil remediation efforts need to begin for the EWEB riverfront development to proceed.
Council voted to direct staff to deconstruct the building, salvaging the materials to be incorporated in a future art installation or sculpture that honors the building and our city’s past.
On Wednesday, council heard a report from the citizen committee that assessed and recommended the crossing designs to enable the city to create a railroad quiet zone extending from Hilyard west through the Whitaker neighborhood. Council approved the proposed array of crossing designs and directed the city manager to provide information at a future council work session on the potential funding strategies for moving forward with the crossing improvements.
This coming week, councilors will conduct interviews of applicants for 24 positions on a range of boards and commissions. I am traveling to Washington, DC as part of the annual “United Front” trip in which Eugene, Springfield, Lane County and other public partners present our priorities for federal support.