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Road-use fee to appear on ballot.

Byline: CITY BEAT/SPRINGFIELD By Matt Cooper The Register-Guard

Looks like Springfield voters will get the chance to vote on the city's new road-user fee.

The Lane County Board of Elections confirmed Friday that Commissioner Bill Dwyer's petition to put the issue before voters included 1,222 valid signatures, 28 more than necessary.

Next up, the city must put together the necessary paperwork and get the council's approval to place it on the ballot.

Dwyer wants the issue to go before voters in the Sept. 16 election, but the elections board requires a 90-day period between when an issue is placed on the ballot and the election itself. If council doesn't approve the measure until its June 16 meeting, things will come down to the wire.

Dwyer's not worried, though. "They have a certain number of days to act," he said. "There's plenty of time."

Eugene and Springfield approved the fees in December to shore up road budget deficits caused in part by decreased funding from Lane County, which has received less in federal reimbursements for area timber sales.

But Dwyer and Commissioner Bobby Green have fought them with petition drives because they believe it's the wrong way for the cities to pay for streets.

Roadwork to start in 2005

Change is likely on the way for a hazardous stretch of South 42nd Street, but it could be 2005 before shovel meets dirt.

The City Council is expected in the coming months to assume jurisdiction of the roadway from Main Street to Jasper Road, freeing the Oregon Department of Transportation from maintaining the road.

ODOT would contribute $4.1 million for sidewalks, bike lanes, lighting and a traffic signal, which residents say would greatly improve the safety of a road where last year a boy was killed while riding his bicycle.

If the council signs off and ODOT frees up the money this fall, the city would begin design work, and construction would be expected in spring 2005, Transportation Manager Nick Arnis said.

Public can help with planting

Volunteers are asked to help with planting today at the Thurston Memorial, a monument to victims of the 1998 shootings at Thurston High School that will be dedicated at 4 p.m. Wednesday at the school.

Volunteers can put in plants and spread mulch from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the school, 333 58th St. Bring gloves, shovels and boots.

Also in remembrance of the fifth anniversary of the shootings, the Thurston Healing Quilts will be on display at Springfield Museum beginning Wednesday and continuing through June 14.

After the shootings, more than 700 quilt blocks were received from Oregon communities and seven different states. More than 100 volunteer quilters from across Oregon worked for five weeks to construct 13 large quilts, 54 small quilts and 30 sashes.

A free public reception will mark the exhibit opening from noon to 1 p.m. Wednesday at the museum, Sixth and Main streets.

The museum is open Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Admission is $2 for ages 18 or older.

Matt Cooper can be reached at 338-2317 or mcooper@ guardnet.com.
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Title Annotation:Commissioner Bill Dwyer's petition collects enough valid signatures; General News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 17, 2003
Words:534
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