East Lane County Commissioners Gary Williams, Creswell Council President Richard Zettervall and EPUD’s Public Relations coordinator Patty Jo Angelini come to watch the installment of street lights on Niblock Lane. ERIN TIERNEY – THE CRESWELL CHRONICLE
Thanks to a privately funded community campaign, four lights were installed on Niblock Lane last Friday, in hopes of reducing close calls between pedestrians and drivers.
With the presence of Creswell High School on the street, foot and automobile traffic abound. There have been complaints made about visibility issues on Niblock Lane for years. To The Chronicle’s knowledge, there have not been any reported fatalities on Niblock Lane, but there have been countless close calls in that area.
Creswell City Council President Richard Zettervall, who was part of spearheading this effort, said he’s heard countless accounts by residents who are driving along Niblock Lane and all of a sudden someone shows up in their headlights.
It’s been a five-year dream of husband-wife duo Zettervall and Linda Warner to see Niblock Lane become more illuminated.
Five years ago, Warner approached Creswell School District, asking them to put plans in motion to make the area better lit for the high school students that frequently hoof it on the road. That idea flatlined for one reason or another, Zettervall said, and nothing came of it back then.
But about a year ago, Zettervall approached Mayor Dave Stram, Lane County Commissioner Gary Williams and former Lane County Public Works Director Tim Elsea to see what could be done about the dim light on the road.
Niblock Lane is a Lane County road, so much collaboration had to be done with Lane County and Emerald People’s Utility District (EPUD).
Elsea ”was very helpful working with the Lane County Public Works process to enable the project to move forward,” said Zettervall, who worked with Commissioner Williams to get permit fees waived as Lane County’s contribution to this project, per a recommendation from Commissioner Williams.
The private fundraising was necessary since the project was not within Creswell City limits and could not be funded by City funds, Zettervall said, so they decided to apply to the Creswell First! Foundation as the recipient of the funds and allow for tax deductibility, as they are a nonprofit foundation.
Mayor Stram, Commissioner Williams and Council President Zettervall initiated a $2,850 fundraising effort, which was a little over the cost estimate provided by EPUD. They managed to raise $2,872.50 due to a number of generous donors to help support the Niblock Street Lights Project.
Donors included Mayor Stram; Commissioner Williams; Warner and Zettervall; City Administrator Michelle Amberg; Creswell School District (CSD) Board Chair Mike Anderson; CSD board members Natalie Smathers, Paul Randall and Tim Rogers; Nelson Restaurant Corporation; Dr. Matthew Bahen of Emerald Valley Dental; Dr. Lonn Robertson; and Rick Lloyd.
The actual total cost for the lights was $2,885, Zettervall said; he and Warner picked up the difference of $12.50.
”Creswell is very blessed to have such wonderful generous people, as well as the contribution by Commissioner Williams,” Zettervall said. ”This was such a wonderful project to be a part of; I just can’t express the gratitude that I have for everyone who played a part in this project. What better cause is there than to help protect our Creswell kids?”