It’s Your Money

Recently, the State Land Board enacted a curfew starting in May to restrict fires and camping on the Willamette River in Eugene to protect the natural resources. The city and Lane County have enacted dusk-to-dawn curfews on the free speech park, parking lots and other locations in and around town. All governmental agencies continually restrict land use for the unhoused.

Last week, the city of Eugene Emergency Management Program manager gave a presentation to the Sustainability Commission detailing the consequences of an earthquake event on the Cascadia Subduction Zone Fault. The good news is that some are prepared, yet the sobering news is that the citizens of Eugene will have to be self-sufficient for months, and a sizeable amount will become unhoused, joining the more than 2,000 unhoused in Lane County.

Should the proposed county courthouse bond measure pass in May, the state’s $90-million contribution should stipulate the facility be a dusk-to-dawn shelter and community resource center. This seismically safe facility could provide cooling from excessive heat in summer, warming from below freezing in winter, filtered air relief from wildfire smoke and emergency services after an earthquake.

Buildings are more efficient when they operate continually, and the past practice of single-use wastes space, materials and energy. When taxpayers foot the bill for a $150-million public facility, it should provide services to the community 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

The public should demand it. It is your money.

Jim Neu