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Coquille Valley Sentinel
Coquille, Oregon
October 27, 1999     Coquille Valley Sentinel
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October 27, 1999

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'' 0000oq00i"es00ro00er00y,axesrisesli,00,0000 I from $1,840, 000 to $1,873,000," city's total taxable value also up modest@ Area businesses contribute to [ Halloween festivities by sponsoring [ our exclusive guide to Famil00 00!iiii00iiiiiiiiiiiii0000 i iiili!00ii00!00iiii! iiiiiii!iiii!iiiill i!i!ii;iiiiiiii ii ii:iiiil iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Z !iiiiiiiiiii!iiiil;iiiiii+;iiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiii! :!iiiiiiiiiiiii!!!ii;i;;iliiiiiiilii!iii!i!!ii!iiii iiiiiiiiiiii!iiiiiiiii;i!iiii!iiiiiiii:ii!iiii!iii!iii.,'.:ii 117 Number 43 Coquille, Oregon, Wednesday, October 27, 1999 One Section, 12 Pages B 50 Cents million school facilities bond measure now in hands of voters g with limited resources, district focused on fact sheet ALBERT Coquille School District, added, expensive option of handicapped der Oregon's double majority to the natural gas measure, little attention paid to the Coquille District's $6.5 million )air bond which is also ballot. was first up for roval in March, the dis- a high-profile edu- )aibm which included attended) campus tours before various organizations. however, the district primarily on a one- he homes ,526 registered voters and e meeting last Wednesday adjacent story). decided we'd concen- I getting the fact sheet out registered voter," said Phil Waber. "We to use big bucks as a lrule to get the information don't have resources, so time." that cam there's money Greg gerforthe In addition to a lack of re- sources, Lecuyer pointed out that the public is already familiar with the key components of the bond measure. "A lot of the groundwork was laid during the first campaign," Lccuyer said. Only minor differences There arc, in fact, only minor differences between the current ballot measure and the one which was defeated in March. The $6.5 million bond would still maturc over a period of 20 years and could only bc used to repairor renovate dilapidated cam- pus facilities. The biggest chunk-- nearly $4.9 million--is earmarked for Coquille High School. Under the current ballot measure's specifications, $45,000 would be used to upgrade the kitchen facilities at CHS (as op- posed March's bond, which fo- cused on the middle school's kitchen) and $95,000 would be set aside to overlay the track (as opposed to $10,000). Additionally, rather than an elevator at Lincoln School, the district is now looking at the less accessible ramps duc to the real- ity of perpctually escalating con- stmction costs. "Every passage o1 time we'll be able to do less with six a half million," Lccuyer said. For homeowners, the bond would translate to an additional eslimaled tax of$1.71 per $1,000 of assessed prolrty value. This means an cxlra monthly cost of $5.70 Ikr a home assessed at $40.000 and $10.69 for a home valued at $75,000. Many minds already set According to Waber, there are core groups of advocates and op- ponenls who already have their minds made up, meaning the dis- trict must make its case to those who remain undecided. Oppo- nents include those who arc against any tax incrcasc and thosc who disagree with how a portion of the money is being spent. "It's an all or nothing," Waber said. Although March's measure was defeated by a mere 13 voters, only 48.8 percent of those regis- tered actually cast their ballots, which invalidated the results un- election rule. This time, largely due to the massive amount of publicity over the gas pipeline, Wabcr is confi- dent flint the 50 percent voter threshold will be met. And white it's unclear what impacl the pipeline measure will have on the school bond, Wabcr also believes the majority of vot- ers "will respond in a positive matter." I f, however, Waber's optimism proves to be unfounded, the dis- trict will have to decide what to do next. Much of the district's strategy, Lccuycr explained, would bc based on whether the bond mea- sure lost again by a handful of votes or was soundly defeated by overwhelming numbers. Yet regardless of whether it's for $6.5 million or a scaled back figure designed to meet the needs of a single building, another bond ,measure is virtually inevitable if the present one fails. "This is pretty much straight- forward, you fix something or you don't," Waber said. "The work still there still needs to be done-- nothing is different." Public forum sparsely attended By COREY #I.BERT Sentinel Editor Less than a dozen residents (including three School Board members and a teache0 attended a public forum last Wednesday night which focused on the Coquille School District's $6.5 million bond measure. Answering questions, Super- intendent Phil Waber emphasized that the bond, if passed, can only be used to repair and renovate buildings and not to purchase equipment or augment salaries. "Nothing with the bond issue can be used for personnel costs whatsoever--nothing," Waber said. "We can't buy things, we can build things and remodel things." Within those parameters, the district does have some flexibility to deviate from specifically stated amounts if the need arises (i.e. if the gas pipeline measure passes less might have to be spent on heating). Such deviation would be minimal, however, according to Waber. "It becomes a credibility is- sue," Waber said. "I anticipate the projects will go pretty much the same [as stated]." If the measure passes, Coquille's deteriorating schools should be able to last another 30 years before another renovation bond needs to be considered. "We don't anticipate going back to voters any time before then to ask for anything else," Waber said. If voters should reject it, how- ever, Waber noted that "we're very good at putting Band-aids on and we'll continue to do that" while the School Board reassses its options. The greatest number of those "Band-aids" are needed at Coquille High School, where problems include exposed pipes; a"weeping wall" in the stage area; a substandard gifts' locker room; and a bus barn which currently rests at a slant. In the end, Waber said that each voter will need to weigh the financialburdensofpassing abond against the potential for long-term community development. "If the decision is made on straight dollars and cents it can only be made one way," said Waber, referring to a "no" vote. "The local property tax owner is the one who gets nailed." Battle could be looming over wetlands mitigation area Bv ROBERT JUMP Special Contributor ERODING BERMEros/on is cutting back on the berm which holds water in an overwinter pond for young salmon on Dutch John Creek. Coquille City Manager Bruce Meithof said a plan to stop the erosion has been sent to the Dept. of State Lands. (Photo by Robert Jump) Raccoon and bird tracks cover the ground between the outfall of Dutch John Creek and the Coquille River where the only sounds heard come from water passing down the creek bed and cars and trucks tray- cling nearby on ttighway 42. However, a battle between The City of Coquille and Coquille River STEP (Salmon Trout l-n- hancement Program) maybe hm- ing in the near future over the area where hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent in wet lands mitigation in an eflort to turn the old Georgia Pacific mill site into a shopping center. "There's a problcm with the creek over llow point," said S'I'iP President Jim Pinson. "It's ertxled back almost to the dam. We're afraid it will erode it all ava 3.'' According to Pinson, Sq'F,P has met with the cit several times in an effort to have the damage re- paired. But no discernable action has been taken b3 the city. "It's too late to do anything about this year," Pinson said. "If somcNxl 3' doesn't get up there and fix it ncxt )car wc'rc going to raise hell!" But according to  kNuillc ('it) .klanager Bruce . Icithof, the pro- cess is more involvcd than a city truck hauling in rip rap. "We pulled together the .\\;rmy ( 'orps of I mgincers, BI A I (Bureau or l,and Management) and the l)i- vision of Statc l,ands," Xlcithof said. According to Meithof, STEP personnel wanted to restore Dutch John Creek to its historical chan- nel. I lowever, the channel has been covered since belore the 1930's. "They wanted to reroute Dutch John north and raise the dam," Mcithof said. "But the old creek bed is actually south of where it is nOW." .\\; plan was devised using rip rap and logs to create natural water falls and ponds. But the National larine l:isheries Service wouldn't approve the permits, , leithof said. The pond is imtxrtant because it serves as over wintering habitat lot juvenile salmon trying to es- cape strong river currents. An agreement between STI-P and the cit5 places rcsponsibilit 3 lor main- (See "WETLANDS" Page 3) ibition, women's sufferage were key issues around 1915  .... By DOROTHY TAYLOR cisco that year. Coos and Curry . .= , , ,. " Special Contributor counties had a section in the Or- " Women's Suffemge (asking egon building. Hugh McLain, ii; :-,,. ,, ., E,:, i --- " --" ; for the right to vote) and corn- Ctxs county resident, returning YESTERDAYS ,- ..................... big news in 1915. l.xx:al church , leaders surprised many with their With the Millemiumjustahead haul of stills from around the county and proudly poses with his deputies on the courthouse lawn. Gage was ,sheriff three different timesand died in office in '29. (Photo from the Cheri Wal ker Collection) STRIKF_,---Coos County Sheriff W.W. Gage, at did his darfiedest to stamp out illegal booze during the this photo from around 1920, he has made a mighty tmflook on the sales of liquor. "'Sale and consumption of alcoll shtmld not be regulated by law because it will not work. Temperance by per- stmal control is necessary to curb the abuse!" Persmai control "hasn't seemed to work either, but at least the deregulatitm corrected some of the problems created by having the consumption totally illegal. Women eventually got to vote after demonstrations and marches and the help of some men. Much excitement was cre- ated by the Panama Pacific Inter- national Exlsition in San Fran- The Sentinel is looking back at the Coquille Valle  s lnstom in art occasio/la] series. from the opening of the fair, said he was "thoroughly disappointed" in the Oregon State section. Mr. McLain said, "The only exhibit that made any showing was the Ctxs county one and something from the Willamette valley. The state has practically nothing." LJ. Simpson was there. The part of the display was on the (See "HISTORY" Page 3)