Springfield buys land so millrace restoration can begin.
SPRINGFIELD - The city has cut a check for almost $1.3 million to buy 43 acres of land from McKenzie Forest Products in order to move forward on the millrace restoration project that's been 10 years in the making.
The $1,277,000 is in escrow and represents most of the city's share of a $6.4 million project that seeks to improve flow in the historical Springfield Millrace stream and help revitalize downtown.
McKenzie Forest Products sold four tracts of land as a package deal; three are essential to the project and the city will hold the fourth as an investment property, said Assistant Director of Public Works Len Goodwin.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in charge of the project in cooperation with the city, and the federal government has earmarked $5 million for its construction. The project has been delayed a number of times, and the city held off buying the McKenzie Forest Products land until it had a written contract with the Corps that the project will move forward, Goodwin said.
``Now we are pretty sure this is actually going to go forward. We need this land because part of the Corps' requirement is that the sponsor (Springfield) own the property where the project is going to be constructed,'' Goodwin said. "Now we're ready to go. We're just hopeful the Corps will be able to put its resources together."
Work could begin this summer. The project will include creating small ponds and a nature trail along the millrace.
available at library
From cramming for the SAT, to finding a long-lost relative, to learning why the sky's blue, three new databases can help Springfield Library cardholders find answers to just about anything.
The Learning Express Library database offers educational and career-oriented practice tests. Users can take an online ACT, SAT or GED test. Also available are firefighter, police officer, real estate and cosmetology exams. Tests provide instant scoring and customized feedback.
Heritage Quest Online provides access to research materials to trace family histories. The database includes census data for 1790-1930 as well as books and magazine articles. It cuts the need for interlibrary loan requests.
The New Book of Popular Science database is for students and provides articles available in the print edition of the encyclopedia and links to prescreened Internet sites. Students can search easy-to-understand articles about science, math and technology.
The databases are available to cardholders at the library and remotely at ci.springfield .or.us/library; click on the link to "Internet Database Access."
Council OKs talks on pact for jail pre-design firm
The city hasn't yet figured out how it will pay for operations of the Justice Center, but is beginning to design the facility.
The City Council Monday authorized City Manager Mike Kelly to negotiate a contract with an architectural pre-design firm.
The consulting firm Liebert and Associates provides design guidance for buildings before architects begin work. They will determine how many beds the city jail will need.
The firm will also determine space needs for administrative offices, training rooms and specialized functions such as evidence storage and labs.