Hwy 58 Update, Environment & Rural Oregon Bills, Summer Activities & More


Senator Floyd Prozanski
South Lane and North Douglas Counties
District 4

900 Court St. NE, S-417, Salem Oregon 97301
Capitol phone: 503-986-1704
Email: sen.floydprozanski@state.or.us
Website: http://www.oregonlegislature.gov/prozanski
e-Bulletin                     June 2016

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Dear friends,

    I'm very concerned about recent reports of high levels of lead in school drinking water. Making sure students are drinking safe water must be a priority. I applaud the districts that have already taken steps to test water to protect students. We need to know the extent of this problem now. If school districts lack the funds to immediately test for lead contamination, the Legislature's Emergency Board needs to convene and look for ways to assist school districts fund this important work.

    Oregon's June economic and revenue forecast speaks for itself: Job growth is going strong, with 5,000 jobs added to the economy every month. State revenue projections continue to grow. I continue to support small business and remain committed to protecting our investments in education, public health and safety. Notable in the current state budget are commitments to refund costs to local communities for fighting wildfires in rural Oregon, responding the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation, and safety improvements in the aftermath of the tragedy at Umpqua Community College. For more information on the quarterly forecast, see: https://www.oregon.gov/das/OEA/Pages/forecastecorev.aspx.

    Below you will find information on:

        - Highway 58 Chipseal Project Update
        - Joint Transportation Committee Statewide Summer Tour
- 2016 Session: Environment & Rural Oregon
        - U.S. Olympic Team Trials: July 1-10
Premier of Feature Film: "Tracktown"
        - Oregon Bach Festival: June 23 - July 10
        - Bohemia Mining Days: July 14-17
        - Blackberry Jam Festival: July 29-31
        - Lane County Fair: July 20-24
        - Douglas County Fair: August 10-13

    As summer kicks into gear, please use extra caution when enjoying the outdoors. Fire conditions are extremely high and water levels dangerously low. Please use life jackets and be careful!

    I hope this information is helpful and informative for you or someone you know. As always, feel free to share your comments, questions or concerns with me by phone, mail or e-mail.

                                                               Sen. Prozanski signature

Highway 58 Chipseal Project Update
(Courtesy of ODOT)

    In September 2015, ODOT completed a pavement preservation project that applied a chip seal on more than 16 miles of pavement between Dexter and Westfir. Since then, four areas along the route have been identified as needing repair:

  • Milepost 14.3 – 15, eastbound passing lane, 24 feet wide
  • Milepost 20.9 – 22.25, eastbound lane, 12 feet wide
  • Milepost 27 – 27.36, east and westbound lanes, and eastbound turn lane
  • Milepost 24.65 – 25, westbound lane, 12 feet wide

    ODOT will be paving these areas with asphalt concrete pavement, as recommended by pavement experts. The construction schedule is not finalized, but work is to be completed by the end of September.

    Crews will be doing weekly assessment to determine if any other areas of roadway need additional repair/replacement work. If they do, that work will also be completed before the end of September, weather dependent. The roadway continues to be swept as needed and appropriate, and is assessed weekly by maintenance staff in the area. Sweeping the roadway is a multi-day, multi-shift process to complete the entire 16 miles, including the shoulders.

    This summer, another project that had already been planned between Black Canyon and Middle Fork Willamette River will commence. This will be an asphalt concrete pavement project.

    Questions about these projects can be directed to Angela Seydel, ODOT Public Information Officer, at: angela.beers-seydel@odot.state.or.us or 541.726.2442.

Joint Transportation Committee Statewide Summer Tour

The Legislature's newly formed Joint Committee on Transportation Preservation & Modernization has scheduled a series of nine meetings to discuss state and local transportation needs with community leaders and the public across Oregon.

    On their statewide tour, committee members will tour transportation "trouble spots" in each region and hear from Oregon Department of Transportation officials, members of the various Area Commissions on Transportation, members of the Oregon Transportation Commission, as well as community and business leaders and the public.

    The committee's stop in Senate District 4 will take place in Eugene on July 20 at 5 p.m. at University of Oregon's Prince Lucian Campbell Hall (Rm. 180).

    The committee is charged with developing a statewide transportation package for consideration during the 2017 session. That process will begin by thoroughly examining transportation needs across the state.

2016 Session: Environment & Rural Oregon

    Continuing with this e-bulletin, I'm providing in-depth summaries of bills passed during the 2016 session by subject area. A comprehensive listing of accomplishments from the 2016 session related to the environment and rural Oregon — by Senate/House bill and in numerical order — follows:

Senate Bills

    SB 1529 - Encouraging Water Conservation and Sustainable Use: This legislation prohibits enforcement of lawn-watering requirements set forth by home owners associations during times of drought. It will only apply while a drought declaration is in effect, when the Water Resources Commission has issued a drought finding or a local jurisdiction has passed an ordinance curtailing water use.

    SB 1547 - Transitioning Oregon Away from Coal Energy: This legislation makes Oregon the first state to formally transition away from coal-fired electricity and toward cleaner, renewable energy. It requires elimination of coal power from Oregon's energy sources by 2030 and requires half of all Oregon electricity to come from renewable sources by 2040. Additionally, SB 1547 invests in small-scale community renewable projects and electric vehicle infrastructure. It also modifies the eligibility requirements for biomass energy generation. The bill caps the annual rate increase for ratepayers at 4 percent and gives broad authority to the Public Utility Commission in regulating electric companies. This bill is landmark legislation affirming the Legislature's commitment to a clean, healthy energy future and economy for all Oregonians.

    SB 1563 - Preventing Groundwater Contamination from Septic Systems: This legislation creates a loan funding program to make small-scale loans to homeowners and small businesses to repair or replace septic systems. If not properly maintained, septic systems can leak or fail, resulting in dangerous groundwater contamination. SB 1563 provides $250,000 to the Department of Environmental Quality to administer the program. Reducing faulty septic systems will help the environment as well as improve water quality and public health in rural areas.

House Bills

    HB 4037 - Building High-Production Solar Power Plants: This legislation directs the Oregon Business Development Department to establish a program to provide incentives for the construction of high-production solar power plants in Oregon. Building more solar energy facilities in Oregon will lead to a broader base of clean, renewable power and construction of the plants will provide hundreds of jobs in rural Oregon. HB 4037 appropriates about $1 million to OBDD for the creation of the incentive program.

    HB 4046 - Enhancing Penalties for Poaching: This legislation cracks down on poachers by increasing penalties for unlawfully taking or killing certain game wildlife. It increases the maximum fine amount for illegally taking certain species and requires the Oregon Fish & Wildlife Commission to revoke all licenses, tags and permits issued to those convicted of a first poaching offense. Upon an individual's second conviction within a 10-year period, HB 4046 prohibits the individual from applying for or obtaining a license, tag or permit. Upon a third poaching conviction within 10 years, all guns, boats, vehicles, traps and other implements used in committing the offense are subject to civil forfeiture. This bill is designed to address a key problem for rural Oregon communities.

    HB 4060 - Supporting Oregon's Growing Hemp Industry: In 2009, the Legislature authorized production of industrial hemp. With a wide variety of uses, hemp is a burgeoning agricultural commodity and represents significant economic development potential for communities across the state. This legislation makes a few changes to existing law governing hemp production, including minimum acreage, labeling and packaging standards and testing requirements.

    HB 4084 - Local Government Tax Incentive for Brownfield Cleanup: This legislation authorizes local governments to provide a property tax incentive program to clean up brownfield sites, which are contaminated parcels of property that are hazardous for humans and environmental health. It gives local governments the ability to create and shape their own tax incentive program to help communities overcome the high costs of brownfield cleanup and enable economic development, as well as improved property values and a better standard of living.

    HB 4113 - Establishing Task Force on Drought Emergency Response: This legislation establishes a non-legislative Task Force on Drought Emergency Response to research and evaluate potential tools to prepare for or deal with drought emergencies. Activities for the Task Force can include evaluating sufficiency of existing tools to address short-term drought response and recommending additional tools; identifying options to minimize drought impacts to agriculture, municipal, fish and wildlife and other interests; identifying tools to assist small water providers in developing water management conservation and efficiency plans; identifying data and resources necessary for anticipating drought and related impacts; and recommending improvements in information sharing. HB 4113 is an important step forward in better planning and coordination for drought, which has become an increasingly persistent problem statewide. In 2015, 25 counties received drought declarations, more than any other year since 1992.

U.S. Olympic Team Trials

With the Summer Olympic Games coming up in August, the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials for track and field will take place at Hayward Field in Eugene from July 1-10. For more information and to buy tickets, visit: http://gotracktownusa.com/events/united-states-olympic-trials/.

Premier of Feature Film: "Tracktown"

    On Tuesday, July 5, a special screening of the Eugene-produced independent feature film, "Tracktown," will be shown at the McDonald Theater in Eugene. Doors open at 6:00 p.m.; the show begins at 7:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased, here: http://ev12.evenue.net/cgi-bin/ncommerce3/SEGetEventInfo?ticketCode=GS:TWS:PMCD16:PMCD0705:&linkID=twspok.

    Tracktown had its world premiere at the LA Film Festival earlier this month. It was the most "buzzed-about" film at the festival, thanks to a New York Times story, NPR All Things Considered interview, and a New York Magazine article.

Oregon Bach Festival: June 23 - July 10

    Since 1970, the Oregon Bach Festival has celebrated the music and legacy of J.S. Bach in an environment of performance, discovery, and community. Perhaps the most influential and critically acclaimed platform for Bach's music in America, the festival forges connections between people through a love of great music. Its mission is to inspire the human spirit through the art of music by providing the highest level of performances and educational opportunities.

    This year's festival begins on June 23 and runs until July 10. To view a calendar of events and other information, visit: http://oregonbachfestival.com/.

Bohemia Mining Days: July 14-17

Bohemia Mining Days celebrates Cottage Grove's colorful history. The family-friendly festival is organized by a board of community-minded volunteers who work closely with the festival coordinator throughout the year to ensure this annual summer tradition lives on for future generations to enjoy. It features a carnival, pony rides and much more. The Grand Miners Parade begins at 10 a.m. on July 16. More information can be found on Bohemia Mining Days' website: http://bohemiaminingdays.org/.


Blackberry Jam Festival: July 29-31

    The Blackberry Jam Festival (or, "Jam") is a wholesome, free community event featuring plenty of great music, unique crafts and delicious food. Events include a car show, fishing derby, parade and even a pie-eating contest! Located in the heart of the Willamette Valley, the festival is a great event to plan for a summer weekend trip. More information can be found on the Jam's website: http://www.blackberryjamfestival.com/.

Note: I was honored to sponsor a bill in 2015 at the request of the Jam to allow the fishing derby to continue. The derby, which raises funds for programs at Lowell High School through catching and selling pikeminnow fish, was at risk of being cancelled after the Department of Fish & Wildlife determined that a commercial fishing license would be required for it to continue.

vintage red car

Lane County Fair: July 20-24

    The Lane County Fair arrives early again this year, running Wednesday, July 20 through Sunday, July 24. It will feature entertainment, food vendors with many different types of fare, rides, games and more. Purchase tickets or get concert information and ride lists along with all the information needed to enter contests and competitions at: http://www.atthefair.com/.

Douglas County Fair: August 10-13

        Running four days this year, the Douglas County Fair will take place from Wednesday, August 10 through Saturday, August 13. It will feature entertainment, a carnival, food court, livestock, and much more for all ages. Visit the official Douglas County Fair web site at: http://www.co.douglas.or.us/dcfair/fair/.

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