New light fee will aid road repairs

Forest Grove residents will see their electric bills rise a bit starting in October, but should face fewer potholes in return.

On Monday, the city council unanimously voted to impose a $1.50 monthly fee on city utility bills to pay for the municipal streetlight program, which is currently funded through local gas tax receipts. City officials say the new utility fee will raise about $150,000 per year, freeing up more gas tax money to go for road repairs. City Manager Michael Sykes said the new fee, along with a master plan for Forest Grove Light & Power, will help ensure that the public utility can meet the long-term needs of a growing city.

Nasty stuff prompts business to vacate

Esoteric Stuff, a Forest Grove gallery that sells unusual and exotic items from around the world, was forced to vacate its brick-and-mortar showroom at 1930 Pacific Ave. last week after contaminated material was discovered in the apartment above, according to owner Gary Holstrom.

The incident occurred around 11 p.m. July 31, when “the tenant above us told me that ‘stuff’ was coming out of their toilet,” Holstrom said Sunday. “It turned out there was contaminated material and there was two or three inches of it on their bathroom floor.”

ServPro, a restoration services company, came to mop up the mess, which damaged “a few of my one-of-a-kind pieces,” said Holstrom, who added the building owner, John Lewis, asked him to vacate the premises so workers could remove structural damage and replace ceiling tiles and carpet.

“I have not been told when I will be able to move back” to the storefront, Holstrom said, emphasizing that in the meantime, his online store at esoteric will continue to serve customers.

Anyone with questions can call him at 503-314-7616.

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