eclipse-watch

By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes

At its meeting Monday, Dec. 19, the Keizer City Council approved fee waivers totaling a little more than $1,000 for the upcoming Keizer Eclipse 2017. Totally! event.

The Keizer Parks Foundation (KPF) is planning an event at Keizer Rapids Park to mark the passage of a total solar eclipse over Keizer in August 2017 and intends to donate any proceeds back to the city as dedicated parks funds.

Permits for the event were recently approved and led to the request for fee waivers, which to a large extent represent foregone revenue.

KPF requested waivers totaling $1,021 including $55 for an amphitheater permit, a $150 refundable deposit, $776 for four days worth of use fees and $40 for four days of electricity costs.

The council agreed to waive the costs with a unanimous vote.

Mayor Cathy Clark contended that waiving the fees for the eclipse event differed from recent requests by the Keizer Chamber of Commerce to waive some costs for the Holiday Lights Parade two weeks ago.

“One of the reasons I am considering this is because this event will come back to the city in the form of a donation to general fund for Keizer Parks. It’s a wash and we have the potential to receive far more than the $1,000 we are waiving,” Clark said.

Organizers hope to raise as much as $26,000 for city parks through the event.

“I look at this event as a big deal in promoting Keizer and I think it’s a great investment for the city,” said Councilor Roland Herrera.

In other business:

• The council approved changes to the city’s marijuana sales regulations including allowing recreational sales shops to also make medicinal sales. Keizer’s three pot shops currently operate under “early sales” models, but are classified as dispensaries. All three shops are expected to convert to recreational sales as the early sales window closes Dec. 31. An additional change will mean the owners will not have to redo background checks on current employees.

• The council approved plans for the parks survey to be sent out to the first half of city residents with the December water billed that will be issued Dec. 29.

The city general fund will absorb the $1,000 cost of sending out the surveys with the bills. It will also be available online. City officials are asking residents about their priorities regarding Keizer’s 19 parks and to what extent they would be willing to support a fee to create a dedicated parks fund.
Additional volunteer outreach is planned with details being hammered out in the coming weeks.