By CRAIG MURPHY
Of the Keizertimes
When Dave Walery is at a Keizer City Council meeting, that usually means a big event is coming up.
That was indeed the case April 18 as Walery updated councilors on plans for May’s Keizer Iris Festival. Walery is co-chair along with Scott White.
“It’s all coming together really well,” Walery said. “I want to thank the city. The grounds are pretty well ready. There are a few things to work out for parking, but I think we’ve got it figured out.”
One of the more notable changes for this year is the parking.
“We have more parking for guests to come in and participate,” Walery said. “With the Lions Club, we were limited for parking. What we’ve done is closed off Manbrin (Avenue) at the Christmas tree, with parking on that street. We’ll also have parking on Cherry (Avenue). We’ve guessed there is room for 65 to 70 cars. Everything else is pretty much the same.”
In addition to 70 or so cars on Cherry, Walery is hoping for about 30 more parking spaces on Manbrin.
Christine Dieker, the former Keizer Chamber of Commerce executive director who is helping to organize the runs, noted the area by the Christmas tree won’t be closed on Friday, May 20 until 5 p.m.
Councilors unanimously approved two resolutions related to the Iris Festival, to allow street vendors as well as signage.
“This is something we do every year for the Iris Festival,” city manager Chris Eppley said. “The chamber was very prompt in submitting this to us. We kicked it around in-house, mainly with the police department. That’s why we are walking it to you tonight. It’s not the fault of the chamber, it’s on us.”
In other recent council business:
• Councilors unanimously approved two ordinances related to license procedures and fees for taxis in Keizer. The issue was approved at the April 4 meeting, but since the vote wasn’t unanimous, it had to be brought back for a second reading at the April 18 meeting.
Amy Ryan explained why she was a ‘no’ vote the first time.
“I wanted to clarify I am changing my vote and I want to express why I voted the way I did last time,” Ryan said. “I felt like I didn’t have enough information on things like licensing fees. I had some safety concerns. I did some fact finding about that and future businesses. I wanted to make sure we were setting the right precedent. I feel it is the right thing to do and thus will change my vote.”
Mayor Cathy Clark noted the previous ordinances dated back to 1994 and 1987.
• Councilors approved the additional privilege of off premises liquor sales for Growl Movement, located at 5137 River Road N.
Lindy Mongenel, one of the co-owners of the business that opened in Keizer three years ago, said the change would allow employees to serve sealed cans off site.
“It’s really for bottle and cans sales,” Mongenel said. “This allows us to sell things that are packaged off site.”
Eppley gave kudos to Mongenel for her company.
“It’s a really neat business model,” Eppley said. “It’s been a great addition for our business community. It gets a lot of attention from a lot of folks. I’m glad you started here with us.”
Mongenel reciprocated the kind words.
“We appreciate the support of the community, for sure,” she said.
Councilors unanimously approved the request.
• Michael DeBlasi, chair of the Keizer Planning Commission, gave an update from this month’s Planning Commission meeting.
Commission members looked at how to address expedited land division issues brought up last year by the Oregon Legislature.
“Keizer is pretty quick in turnaround on land use decisions already,” DeBlasi said.
Clark gave kudos to the commission.
“The Planning Commission does incredible work and pays attention to details,” the mayor said. “You pay great attention to detail to get it right.”
DeBlasi singled out one veteran commissioner in particular.
“Jim Jacks has an attention to detail that would challenge anybody,” DeBlasi said.
• As referenced elsewhere on these pages, this is the city’s budget season. The Keizer Budget Committee will first meet next Tuesday, May 3 at 6 p.m. followed by the next meeting on May 5 at the same time. The last regularly scheduled meeting is on May 10.
Once the Keizer Budget Committee members approve the budget, it gets sent to the Keizer City Council. Councilors are part of the budget committee, so there are often few changes made. Councilors have to adopt the budget by June 30, which is the end of the current fiscal year.