By Starla Pointer • Staff Writer • 

Carlton waives alcohol rule for Crush

Then, on a 5-2 vote, they approved a one-day exception to a city ban on open containers of alcohol in Upper City Park, adjacent to Main Street. During Carlton Crush, a harvest celebration set for Sept. 12, booths will sell wine and beer.

The park will be fenced off. While anyone may enter, eight alcohol monitors will make sure only those 21 and older have access to drinks.

The request from Carlton Crush organizers led to a lengthy discussion by the council.

During Fun Days and Crush last year, beer gardens were set up on the park’s basketball court. Drinking was confined to within the garden. But Crush would feature alcohol throughout the park, Councilor Scott Carl noted.

He said he doesn’t like the idea of industrial fencing around the area, or the idea of people carrying drinks being visible to anyone passing by. Both he and Councilor Brian Rake, who joined him in voting against the waiver, worried about setting a precedent by making an exception.

The council briefly discussed using a different kind of barrier, such as arbor vitae, to screen the alcohol area from the street. But Crush Chair Terry McIntyre said that would be cost-prohibitive.

Councilors also discussed moving Crush to another location, such as a city parking lot.

But McIntyre said organizers want to keep the event in the upper park in order to encourage visitors to patronize downtown businesses. And he noted almost 70 percent of proceeds will go to Joseph’s Storehouse, the local food bank.

Councilors went on to approve purchase of new playground equipment for Upper Park without going through a formal bidding process. Only one Oregon vendor supplies the equipment, according to City Manager Chad Olsen, so it would be difficult to find three bidders.

The play structure includes climbing equipment, swings and bouncing toys, plus a surface designed to reduce injuries. Cost is about $43,000, which the city already has on hand.

Olsen said the equipment would be installed either before or after Fun Days, but not during the June 26-27 event itself.

The council also approved purchase of a John Deere tractor and attachments, using a state group bid to ensure the best price. Money will come from the vehicle maintenance fund.

The city’s old tractor needs $7,000 in repairs, and city officials don’t think it’s worth that kind of investment.

Finally, the council agreed to put an empty city lot at Sixth and East Main streets on the market.

Appraised at $89,000, the extra-large lot is zoned low-density residential. Proceeds from the sale will go into the reserve fund for a new city hall.

In other business, the council:

- Appointed two people to fill vacancies on the city planning commission. Karl Schroeder and Steve Lowry will replace Mark Miller and Ann Williams.

- Appointed Lauri Lewis to fill an opening on the budget committee.

- Authorized city Finance Director Christy Martinez to refinance two loans and switch them to Citizens Bank. This will save the city $3,000 to $5,000 annually, she estimated.

- Awarded a bid for city park irrigation improvements to Willamette Landscaping, the low bidder.

- Entered into personal services agreements with Ron Bush for a skate park survey and GRI for a geotech survey of the skate park area. Total cost is less than $10,000.

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