Jamboree road closures OK’d


The Sweet Home City Council on July 9 approved a package of closures, waivers and permissions for the 2013 Oregon Jamboree.

Details of the package matched last year’s with one addition, the closure of 18th Avenue from Grape Street south to the intersection with Mountain View Drive.

The council voted 4-2 to approve the additional closure, with Craig Fentiman and Bruce Hobbs voting no, and 5-1 for the overall package, with Hobbs voting no. Voting yes on both decisions were Greg Mahler, Mayor Jim Gourley, Scott McKee Jr. and Dave Trask.

Following further discussion between Sweet Home Police Department and Jamboree officials, the additional closure will not take effect; but parking will be restricted on the northeast side of the street.

Following are the details of the decision:

n Sankey Park and Weddle Bridge closed from 6 a.m. on July 29 to 10 p.m. on Aug. 5.

n Fourteenth Avenue, from Kalmia Street to Grape Street, closed during the Jamboree, beginning at 11 a.m. on Aug. 1. Residents receive permits to pass the roadblocks.

n Eighteenth Avenue, from Long Street to Grape Street, closed. Between Long Street and the concert grounds will be disabled parking only.

n The peddler’s license requirement waived.

n Fees, including water, equipment and some employee services, waived.

n A public address system permit is granted for both stages and the kickoff party at Safeway on Aug. 1.

n Permission granted to use city property, including part of Sankey Park for beer gardens.

n The event fee waived.

n Permission granted for general assistance from the city.

n Permission granted to allow semi and equipment storage in the city’s maintenance yard off 24th Avenue.

n Permission granted for the use of the Events Center for camping.

The Oregon Jamboree, to be held Aug. 2-5, features Toby Keith, Dwight Yoakam and Luke Bryan as headliners. Proceeds from the event are used to support economic development efforts in Sweet Home.

Police Chief Jeff Lynn recommended that the council not approve the additional closure on 18th Avenue because it would have a greater impact to the residents in that area, some 36 or 37 households on Grape Street and 18th Avenue.

McKee said that section of 18th is congested, and people camp on the vacant lots on the northeast side of the street. With the northbound roadblock at Grape Street, it also becomes a turnaround.

Lynn said he didn’t see too much congestion in the area last year.

School District 55 officials had issues with that section and school buses, used as shuttles, passing cars parked on both sides, said Jamboree Festival Director Erin Regrutto.

Apparently, she said, there was an accident involving a bus and limited space to pass through last year.

Jamboree officials just want to eliminate parking on one side of the street, Regrutto said.

Lynn noted that the road is 39 feet wide, with two 11.5-foot travel lanes and two 8-foot parking lanes.

In other business, the council:

n Approved an agreement with ECONorthwest to conduct an analysis of the city’s fee structure for wastewater services at a cost of up to $13,000.

During the past 13 years, the city has undertaken multiple projects to repair, rehabilitate and replace the aging wastewater collection system throughout the city, said Public Works Director Mike J. Adams.

The city must renew an agreement with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to meet regulations, Adams said. A previous agreement expired in 2010.

“It is important to fully understand what the additional costs will be to gain compliance, how the improvements can be financed and over what time period,” Adams said.

The analysis should consider “the system’s existing rate structure and propose revenue increase and-or expense reduction options,” Adams said. With it, bond counsel can recommend funding options available to the city.

Based on what the citizens of Sweet Home can feasibly afford, the city can take the analysis and show the DEQ it will take 10 or 20 years, for example, as the city negotiates a new agreement.

n Held the first reading of an ordinance revising the city’s planning code, Title 17. The Planning Commission had been reviewing the ordinance for the past year and voted on July 1 to recommend to the council approval of the revisions.

“Zoning has evolved for over 50 years,” said Community Development Director Carol Lewis. “Some chapters have been revised or rewritten, but many areas of the code have outdated language that needs to be cleaned up. This ordinance is a total review and cleanup of this title.”