The Cave Junction City Council held their monthly meeting June 12 at City Hall. While the majority of the meeting consisted of general community updates, the public hearing surrounding the ongoing library renovation project led to a decision that may complicate the renovation process.
Mayor Meadow Martell and Councilors Ethan Lane, Tina Casey Jones, Jean Ann Miles, and Jesse Dugas were all in attendance along with city recorder Rebecca Patton. Joining them were city planner Lisa Richardson and contract planner Rowan Fairfield. Public Works Director Alex Ponder was unable to attend this month’s meeting, which meant that his department’s usual update was missed.
Council liaison updates were brief but informative. Councilor Jones gave an update on the Parks and Recreation board meeting, announcing that the expected date for the long-awaited spray pad to go to bid was June 19. The board’s eventual goal is to have the spray pad up and running by Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, due to budget constraints she explained that the ADA-approved portion of the playground would be filled in with the foam flooring they had been interested in using, while the areas beneath the swings and other areas will continue to be filled with standard bark chips.
Councilor Miles informed attendees that she had recently attended a Broadband Listening Session meant to call attention to the internet needs of rural communities. Miles noted that she and her husband were the only individuals from Josephine County in attendance, but mentioned that several residents of the Applegate area had attended to voice their concerns.
When the time came for the public hearing regarding the library renovation, contract planner Rowan Fairfield began by giving a brief presentation that served to reassure the council that the renovations fell well within the parameters of all relevant city codes. With that said, there was a small hitch in the plans related to trash and parking.
Luke Galley spoke on behalf of ZCS Engineering to explain that as it stands, the Illinois Valley branch of the library has 10 parking spaces, only one of which is ADA compliant. As there is nothing within the Cave Junction city code that covers library parking specifically, Galley formally presented an idea to the council- he was interested in adopting the codes for library parking that are used within the city of Grants Pass. This would allow for 15 parking spaces total, three of which would be ADA compliant.
Unfortunately, as Councilor Miles put it, this created “quite a quandary” for the council, as allowing one use of Grants Pass City Codes in place of Cave Junction’s would open the doorway for further instances of similar requests down the line. Councilor Lane pointed out that although the clearest solution would be for the city to adopt a specific guideline regarding library parking; this is something that would take more time, delaying the library renovation even more.
As a result, the city council voted 4-1 that the library renovation project adheres to the Cave Junction city codes, meaning that additional parking spaces may take a back seat, unless the budget is increased or gone over. While this is likely to slow the project down, it is not enough to hinder the renovation overall.