Forest Grove

explores increased watershed logging

It has been more than 10 years since the Forest Grove city council adopted the plan that guides the management of the city’s watershed. Now the city is looking at updating that plan, including increasing the amount of lumber harvested from the lands it owns west of the city along the Gales Creek watershed.

The updated plan would incorporate the original watershed management goals, which have proven largely effective in maintaining water and habitat quality. The management plan is designed to provide drinking water and preserve a sustainable forest.

The new plan includes a forest inventory to help define the resources available for the annual sustainable timber harvest. Carefully harvesting timber in the forest promotes forest health, according to city forester Scott Ferguson. The revenue from the sales also aid in the cost of maintenance, helping keep city water prices low.

An estimated 1 to 1.25 million board feet were harvested from the watershed land annually under the old management plan. A proposed 2 million board feet would be harvested under the new updates. The plan discusses ways to protect soil structure and plants while logging.

There will be a more complete survey to determine whether two spotted owls that live in watershed lands are nesting.

The plan would also delineate two zones in the watershed — reserved areas and areas where timber can be cut.

The city is also exploring ways to make the watershed more accessible to school children.

The changes will go to a vote in early December.

Banks nixes water fee

Banks residents won’t face a surcharge aimed at raising money for water tower maintenance.

At their August meeting, members of the Banks City Council passed the adoption of a water meter fee that would charge each of the city’s water utility customers $2-8 a month to raise funds for water tower repairs.

Banks City Manager Kyle Awesome asked the council to revisit the proposed fee at the October City Council meeting, however. After Awesome and Director of Finance Jolynn Becker conducted a line-by-line examination of the water utility section of the city’s budget, they found the estimated $30,000 needed for cosmetic mending and seal repairs in other areas of the budget that had been over-projected.

The fee could be revisited next year when making the budget, but for now Banks residents can keep that money in their pockets.

Gaston notches

another book sale

Gaston Community Library volunteers organized and hosted their semi-annual book, DVD and VHS sale Oct. 13. The fundraiser is a vital source of income for the library funded entirely by donations and grants.

The sale helps the library stay afloat. As does its 15 volunteers and the City of Gaston, which donates the space for the book sale and a storage facility, and only charges the library a for rent.

Books, DVDs and VHS tapes left over from the sale and in storage are available for purchase year-round during open business hours.

The library offers community programs, access to books and DVDs, and Internet connectivity to surrounding suburban and rural communities. Because they would have to charge residents from Yamhill County, one of the main areas they serve, the library is not currently part of the Washington County Co-op Library System.

Diana Watkins, Gaston Library board of directors president, said the library relies on the generosity of the City of Gaston, Washington County, other libraries, volunteers and individual donors.

Stop by the Gaston Community Library at 116 Front St. to volunteer and send donations to P.O. Box 129, Gaston 97119.

The next book sale will be in April.

Some taxpayers

get two tax bills

Due to a printing error, approximately 2,000 Washington County property owners will receive duplicate tax bills. The Washington County Department of Assessment and Taxation apologized to taxpayers last week in a media release.

Any property owner who does not receive their tax statement by Nov. 1 is asked to contact the Washington County Department of Assessment and Taxation at 503-846-8801. To receive applicable discounts and avoid interest, payments must be received or post marked by Nov. 15.

Forest Grove

visited by royalty

Queen Karri Frahler of the Portland chapter of Daughters of the Nile made her official visit to Forest Hills Nile Club on Oct. 9 with a luncheon at Jennings McCall Retirement Home in Forest Grove, reports Shirley Clergy, of the Forest Hills Nile Club.

The Daughters of the Nile contribute in excess of $1 million annually to its Convalescent Relief Fund which purchases braces, artificial limbs and other prostheses needed by patients in Shriners Hospital in Portland. Members of Nydia Temple #4 also volunteers many hours as well as gifts of toys and necessities for patient care.

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