City declares Radio Shack nuisance

The Cave Junction City Council held a meeting Sept. 11 at City Hall. Council members Ethan Lane, Tina Casey Jones, and Jesse Dugas were all present, with Council President Jean Ann Miles leading the meeting in light of Mayor Meadow Martell’s excused absence.
One of the larger decisions that the council made was regarding the old Radio Shack building at 145 N. Redwood Highway. In 2022, the property had been purchased by company CK Designs with the intent to turn it into a gas station and convenience store. Unfortunately, before progress could be made on this project, the building caught fire. Several months have passed since this occurred, and yet nothing has been done with the property despite the city reaching out to the property owners multiple times and implementing a $500 per day fine.
As a result, the council chose to declare the property a nuisance, citing overgrowth, rubbish, and a “dangerous and derelict building” as their reasoning behind the decision. Councilor Dugas pointed out that the unsafe building was likely the biggest concern, stating that “a slap on the wrist (in the form of a fine) doesn’t address the issue” and asked if the city could step in to condemn the structure. Chief Holmes was present, and he informed the council that the building could fall under the requirements for a full condemnation, but additional research would need to be done to determine this. Following this discussion, Resolution 979 was unanimously passed.
The other major decision that was made during this meeting was for Cave Junction to adopt Josephine County’s newly implemented public intoxication and open container ordinance within the city limits. Although this move was a step in the right direction, council members were in agreement that it would be in the city’s best interest to modify and strengthen the existing city code surrounding these particular things. The resolution to adopt the ordinance passed 3-1.
Other highlights of the meeting include the public works update, where Public Works Director Alex Ponder implored the council to award the contract for the Bulk Water Facility Project to Timber Mountain Construction. Though Timber Mountain’s bid had initially been too high for the city to consider, the city had made some compromises to lower the company’s expected budget. The impromptu motion to award this contract passed unanimously.
The Library Renovation Project experienced a similar hitch in plans, according to project director Teresa Stover. All of the initial bids that had been received for the project were outside of the city’s budget, and as a result several adjustments to the construction plans were made. Though this means that the library is one step closer to being renovated, construction cannot begin until an environmental review takes place, and even then things will take about eight months to be completed from there.
The city council’s next meeting will be Sept. 25 at City Hall, and community members are encouraged to attend.