Splash pad to open this summer

Gwen Barringer
IVN Contributing Writer

The Cave Junction City Council gathered for their monthly meeting Feb. 12. During this meeting, the council received the annual Parks & Recreation update, and had a few immersive discussions, including one about a shift in plans for the new KOA campground.
Councilor Jean Ann Miles led the council, with Ethan Lane attending via Zoom, and Tina Casey Jones being present alongside city recorder Rebecca Patton. Both councilor Jesse Dugas and Mayor Meadow Martell took excused absence.
Parks & Recreation Chair John Miles spoke at length to the council about the board’s goals for Jubilee Park moving forward, and clearly outlined their plans for 2024. These plans include finishing the splash pad installment and playground renovations, beginning the plan to improve the park’s restrooms, and completing the plan for a future expansion. This expansion would include extending the park in the direction of Old Stage Road and including additional parking spaces, as well as placing a new ball field by the existing ones, and incorporating a tennis court and pickleball court. Miles also stressed that the board would be seeking more grants in order to fund these future endeavors. The presentation was well-received by the council.
There was a brief moment of confusion amongst the council when the time came to approve one of two OLCC liquor license applications. While the request from the Peach Rock Market was filled out correctly, there seemed to be a problem with the application that had been filed by Hasco Stations, the 76 station in Cave Junction. While council knew where the intended location was, Councilor Lane diligently pointed out that the address on the application belonged to the liquor store across the street. It was also discovered that the type of license needed to be specified. Ultimately, both liquor licenses were unanimously approved, with the condition that Hazco Station clarify the intended location and type of license they were applying for.

Bryan Westerhout of Ron Grimes Architects spoke to the council regarding a request for a change in the construction plans for the upcoming KOA campground. Due to inclement weather and budgetary constraints, the property owners were requesting approval to move their paving plans from the current construction stage to ‘phase two,’ or the plans that are scheduled to occur within 3 years of their planned March opening. There was also a requested change in terms of the concrete that was planned to be poured under the picnic tables and fire pits, with the petitioners instead deciding to pour the concrete beneath the seven “super sized” tables and fire pits instead, and filling the smaller areas with gravel.
Council’s previous concerns about gravel being used for this project were due to the potential for dust to be created. Westerhout reiterated that the kind of gravel that was going to be used for this was designed specifically to mitigate this problem.
Council was conflicted about approving the request without firm reassurance that the project would be completed according to the readjusted schedule. A motion was made to approve the plan with the addition of a performance bond, but the applicant was concerned about the potential cost of this bond. There was a brief back and forth over this subject, with the city reiterating that they could not give any type of estimate on the amount of the expected performance bond, and the applicant attempting to reassure council that they would adhere to the readjusted plans if their request was approved. Ultimately, the change in plans was approved with the addition of a performance bond.
Other moments from the meeting include the monthly public works update from Public Works Director Alex Ponder. Ponder gave a thorough progress report on behalf of his department, explaining that the splash pad interior was on the brink of being poured the following day before any more rain could interrupt their progress. He mentioned that the Rockydale Well project is coming along smoothly, and also included that he had noticed a recent influx of flushable rags and baby wipes clogging up the city’s septic systems. Ponder posited that perhaps his department could educate Cave Junction’s residents on what is okay to flush and what causes problems. Council agreed that this would be a good idea.
Library block grant administrator Teresa Stover also gave the council her regular update, explaining to the council that although the contract between the city and the contractors who will be assisting in the library renovation project had been approved, there were still some final points regarding insurance that were being ironed out. Permits and revised drawing sets had also been submitted, and their environmental review was now ready to be submitted. If all goes well, Stover explained, funding may be released for the project by March 18.