This week council heard about and acted on an array of issues that speak to the on-going progress in our city behind the headlines.
At Monday’s work session, Council approved two actions that represent significant steps toward our goal of extending downtown toward the river. Council authorized the City Manager to sell a small property across 8th Avenue from the federal courthouse. When the sale is completed, this small surface parking lot will enable the local owners, G Group,LLC and deChase Miksis, to develop the entire block in mixed commercial and residential uses.
For a second piece of land, Council directed the manager to negotiate the sale of a small corner lot at Broadway and Hilyard to the owner of Motel 66 adjacent to the lot. This will open the possibility for the owner, Tom Connor, to both modernize the motel and create an integrated corner with some public space.
Council also approved the proposed budget for Community Development Block Grants and HOME funds. These federal funds are critical revenue streams that enable the cities of Eugene and Springfield to invest in renovation, land purchase and new construction of affordable housing.
At Wednesday’s work session Council heard the results of a survey to gauge voter support for another road bond to continue the City’s work to improve the safety and condition of our roads. This would follow the current road bond which expires in 2018, and would enable road work to continue beginning in the spring and summer of 2019.
Finally, Council had a chance to discuss what is termed “chronic nuisance.” Two councilors had requested this session to discuss both behavior issues and neglected properties. The City currently lacks regulatory teeth to respond to many neglected properties. Council requested staff to prepare recommendations about possible actions to reduce the impact of these properties. There was also considerable energy around a follow-up work session related to fireworks.