Communities

RAIN to strengthen businesses in 2020

RAIN is plugged into 18 rural communities and five city regional areas including Albany, Florence, Lincoln City, Linn and Benton counties, and Oakridge and Lowell.
Last month, the City hosted a luncheon for over 20 Creswell business leaders and entrepreneurs. Those leaders expressed interest in the program, City Manager Michelle Amberg said, especially considering the lack of any consistent economic development investment in our local business.
Amberg signed a memorandum of understanding with RAIN, in which the City will pay $5,000 per year for assistance for the next five years.
“We don’t have an economic developer in the city, so this will help us a lot,” without having to pay an economic developer salary, Council President Amy Knudsen said.
In other business, council held two executive sessions last week, including one to evaluate the job performance of Amberg, and another to discuss real property transactions.
After regular session convened, Knudsen announced that Amberg received a favorable review and a discussion of a pay raise followed.
Amberg, who has been with the City of Creswell for six years, said her salary is in the median range and asked for additional time off in lieu of a pay raise.
Amberg said she received 12 off-days a year, plus holidays and sick leave, and noted she had a bout of medical issues this year for which she used all her time off.
Amberg said she will provide salary information and copies of her contract to the council at the November work session for discussion.
In other news:
— Community member Al Bennett spoke during the public forum to inquire how to install a memorial for his late wife on Oregon Avenue. He owns the building on Oregon Avenue, from the under-renovation Thai restaurant to the soon-to-open Pazzo restaurant.
His wife, Tamara Blum, was the owner of Creswell Chiropractic, where Creswell Wellness Center now operates.
Blum passed away a year ago and Bennett would like to put a plaque on one of the benches on the street to memorialize Blum. He said he would be willing to pay for the plaque. Council will explore options and the item will be placed on a future agenda for discussion.
— If you are interested in volunteering, applications are being accepted for three different committees, including one volunteer for the Parks & Tree Advisory Committee, three volunteers each needed for the Water Rate Advisory and Budget Committees. The Water Rate Advisory & Budget Committee typically meet only two-three times per year. “The time commitment is small, but the need is great,” Mayor Richard Zettervall said.
The next city council meeting is a work session and will be held on Nov. 25 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.