State of the city address
January 8, 2024
Good evening and welcome to the City of Cave Junction’s first Council Meeting in 2024. I’m delighted to see so many new and old faces in the audience and on ZOOM. We have a lot to be proud of in our community and I would like to start with a look back at what has been accomplished in the last year.
January 2023 began with a major winter storm that downed numerous trees in our city streets and in Jubilee Park creating a lot of work for our street crew. Later as we settled into normal, so to speak, some of the projects sidelined by COVID started coming back online such as the Rockydale Well Renovation, the new location for the Bulk Water station, the installation of a new spray pad in Jubilee Park, and a Library expansion project.
In February one of the newest and most attractive buildings in Cave Junction caught on fire and was seriously damaged. This was a hard blow to the downtown community.
On the brighter side, the city participated in a Travel Southern Oregon Destination Ready program with the Chamber of Commerce, and Main Street Cave Junction to brainstorm about ways to make our downtown experience a more welcoming and inviting destination. We will continue efforts to improve our downtown. Investing our MOU monies from the County will fund just a few of the projects for future improvements like painting downtown businesses, installing new security lights and cameras, wrapping the street light control boxes with artwork from a local artist and hopefully some new murals which can be seen as you drive through town.
In March The City Council passed a Homeless Emergency Declaration in attempt to get more statewide funding to address our homeless issues. Unfortunately, this effort was foiled when our County Commissioners refused to participate in the statewide declaration.
In 2023 the Cave Junction City Council approved a new development by the I.V. HOPE Village plan for a transitional housing project. This project is carefully and slowly moving forward and will eventually provide services for our eligible homeless population.
Another highlight in 2023 was the celebration of Cave Junction’s 75th anniversary in June. The festivities, sponsored by the IV Chamber of Commerce, Mainstreet CJ and IVCDO to name a few, included games, pie eating and cupcakes for all. At the same event we unveiled the new ballpark scoreboard provided by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers 659 and unveiled the new ballfield name proclaimed by the City as the “Roger Brandt Field” in honor of our long-term community member, Roger Brandt, who has dedicated so much of his time to our community’s local parks. It was a great day in our Jubilee Park.
In November Jubilee Park celebrated a newly installed memorial center and flew a flag that was previously flown over the USA Capital. The dedication saw over 200 attendees, a generous amount of food and an Airforce National Guard flyover.
As usual, last year our Public Works department was kept busy working hard to stay on top of all the numerous curve balls our weather and our aging infrastructure threw at them all the while the community strived to survive another smoky fire that culminated as the Smith River Complex fire.
We were excited that the Cave Junction DMV re-opened in February after being closed for months only to be closed permanently Dec. 22, 2023. It is frustrating that the city had no voice in this decision.
Affordable housing in Cave Junction continues to have an impact on the viability of our local businesses. It is difficult to attract new workers when it is hard to find a place for them to live but we continue our efforts to find answers and funding opportunities to address this housing situation.
2024 will see the completion of the spray pad at our city park, plus there are plans to install a new ballfield, amphitheater and bathrooms.
We have a lot to be proud of in Cave Junction. Fortunately, we have an outstanding staff, skilled in their areas of expertise, that work hard to keep our city strong and moving forward. We have a dedicated city council that works well together and as mayor, I am honored and proud to be a part of the city of Cave Junction in 2024 and I hope you will join me.