Lincoln City proceeds with sustainability effort

Starting Friday, Lincoln City City Hall will open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Nov. 2 to receive ballots for next month’s election. City Hall will remain open until 8 p.m. election night on Nov. 3. (Photo by Michael Heinbach)

City Hall to open for ballot box access

LINCOLN CITY — During the first of two regular meetings this month on Monday evening, the Lincoln City City Council chose to move forward with recommendations submitted earlier this year by the city’s Sustainability Committee intended to advance the city toward a greener future.

Though the council took no official action on the subject during the meeting held via Zoom, it plans to proceed with a three-pronged plan set for implementation in April 2021, aimed at reducing single-use plastics, as well as encouraging use of sustainable landscaping and locally produced sustainable food sources.

 “The city has an opportunity to gain competitive advantage among other coastal destinations vying for tourism dollars by establishing itself as the leader in sustainability on the Oregon coast,” the Sustainability Committee’s recommendation to the council reads. “Such a step would establish shared values between the city and repeat visitors who seek out destinations, experiences and businesses that share their core values. Such connections will yield more repeat visits and firmer, more personal connections between visitors and the city.”

The committee’s analysis of plastics reduction states an intention to target businesses such as restaurants, lodging sites (hotels, resorts, motels and others), and grocery and convenience stores with delicatessens. In its report to the city council, the Sustainability Committee recommends the city “devote a small portion of its budget to helping businesses offset the cost of switching to sustainable alternatives, for every business participating before the ban is implemented.”

The ban will target single-use plastics, such as Styrofoam and clear plastic food containers regularly used for to-go orders, plastic straws and utensils to direct businesses to use compostable paper products.

The committee’s sustainable landscaping proposal is based on its belief Lincoln City should aim to reduce residents’ use of pesticides and herbicides in order to protect its groundwater.

In the proposed plan, the city would host an informational campaign to alert citizens of pesticide and herbicide alternatives through educational videos, brochures and elsewhere, offer educational programs and classes,” Pesticide Free” yard signage and public education on threats to the city’s groundwater. 

“We realize this effort would involve multiple city departments and citywide planning, and that it would require a long-term roll-out and year round program both regarding education and application,” the Sustainability Committee’s proposal states.

The third part of the committee’s recommendations is a proposal for sustainable food event, titled “Flavor 101,” designed as a weeklong food fest showcasing local chefs preparing food, distributing recipes for healthful and easy-to-prepare meals made from sustainable local ingredients.

“The committee recognizes that the expertise for event management, planning and marketing exists in the city’s Explore Lincoln City department, and not on the shoulders of our small group of volunteers, and that such an event could only happen with city support and involvement,” the proposal reads.

To view the complete Sustainability Committee report to the city council, go to https://bit.ly/33TrWxB.

City hall opening to receive ballots

Lincoln City City Hall will open to the public on a limited basis beginning Friday so residents have regular access to an indoor ballot drop box.

From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through Nov. 2, residents will have access to the indoor ballot drop box in city hall, located at 801 SW Highway 101. City hall will remain open to receive ballots until 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 3. 

“Essentially what we’re trying to do is to make the voting experience as normal as possible by having a place where the ballot boxes can be put in,” City Manager Ron Chandler told the city council during its Monday evening meeting.

Members of the public area asked to enter city hall through the main ground-level entrance. The drop box will be stationed on the third floor, directly in front of the finance counter.

An attendant stationed near the ballot box will answer questions or field concerns. Members of the public in city hall must adhere to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. They will receive a temperature check prior to entrance, must sign in, wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing protocols.

A drive-up ballot drop box remains available 24 hours a day, seven days a week through 8 p.m. on the first floor of the city hall parking garage.

Those displaced by the fire with a temporary mailing address where they’d like a ballot sent should call the office of Lincoln County Clerk Dana Jenkins at 541-265-4131. Displaced residents who prefer to receive their ballots in person at Lincoln City City Hall can also call the county clerk’s office to make arrangements.

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