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library construction

The sky is the limit

Posted on 03 October 2012 by mlong

Monroe library site sees upward movement in construction

photo by Vera Westbrook
This three dimensional model of the Monroe Community Library scheduled for completion in March 2013 depicts the spaciousness of the new 7,550 square-foot facility that includes more parking and aims to enhance the quality of life for Monroe residents.

 
By Vera Westbrook
For the Tribune

 

MONROE – The new Monroe Community Library reached for the sky last week after contractors added some height to the building under construction across the street from the high school on 380 N. Fifth St.
Monroe Community Library Specialist Lori Pelkey watched in awe as a large crane lifted prefabricated walls on Friday, Sept. 19, to erect the tall upright portion of the building. This structure symbolizes the beginning of a new phase in Monroe history with the addition of a much-needed local facility.
“It just brought me to tears after five years of dreaming about the library being built and raising the money,” Pelkey said. “To see it be so tall and so big and so grand—it’s amazing!”
The outside of the building should be done by December, Pelkey said, and “construction will continue as weather permits.” In winter, work will resume inside the building. A grand opening of the newly constructed $2.4 million project is planned for March.
“We are so blessed to have gotten this going, especially in these economic times,” Pelkey said. “It has brought so much energy to our whole town.”
The current library at 1,250 square feet will be gaining some ground as the new facility boasts a spacious 7,550 square feet with a large parking lot.
“Having the library on the main highway will make it more visible and easier to pull into; it will be so much easier for people to stop when traveling through town,” Pelkey said. “Our patronage is going to skyrocket!”
The library today is a local hot spot that often needs the assistance of two library specialists to keep up with the constant flow of patrons of all ages who frequent the building. Pelkey is surprised at the number of folks who continue to come into the current library site today and say, “I never knew there was a library in Monroe!”
Despite its small size and inconvenient location, the library still sees about 3,000 patrons each month. Pelkey expects that patronage to double at the new site as it did at the other two Benton County library branches in Alsea and Philomath after they both increased in size.
“We’ll have more books, more computers and more of everything,” Pelkey said, including e-books and DVDs.
The new site also will offer two meeting spaces with the addition of the 1913 train depot that was uprooted, moved and incorporated as a wing into the new library building as well. Visitors are welcome to visit the current library at 668 Commercial St. in Monroe to view the three dimensional model of the new facility.

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MN 09.19.12 Century Ride pic

More than a bike ride

Posted on 18 September 2012 by admin

photo by Gini Bramlett
Riders were treated to a vegetarian dinner after biking 100 miles through the countryside for the Farm to Farm Century Ride benefitting the Monroe Sharing Garden. Riders came from all around the Northwest for the event.

MONROE – Cyclists from around the Northwest rode 100 miles visiting organic farms and learning about sustainability
On Saturday, more than 150 bike riders participated in the Willamette Valley Farm to Farm Century Ride beginning at the Methodist Church in Monroe. A fundraiser for the Monroe Sharing Gardens, riders were treated to a all natural breakfast of bagels, porridge and fresh fruit and a bountiful vegetarian dinner at the ride’s end which included homemade chili and cornbread, corn on the cob, scratch-made hummus-basil stuffed tomatoes, freshly picked salad greens with veggies and pie and ice cream, most of which was harvested from the Monroe Sharing Gardens located right behind the Methodist Church. Riders were encouraged to visit the gardens.
Participants rode 100 miles through the area’s back country roads discovering local farms along the way, four of which were armed and ready to host the cyclists offering beverages, locally-grown fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked oatmeal cookies, sunflower seeds, homemade potato doughnuts, sandwiches and much more.
The first stop on the tour was at Hope Grange off Alsea-Deadwood Hwy. hosted by Leaping Lamb Farmstay. Gathering Together Farm off Hwy 34 was next. Then the cyclists continued on to Horse Creek Farm on Peoria Road. The last stop before completing the loop was Groundworks Organics off River Road.
The Monroe Sharing Gardens is one large plot shared by all instead of many separate plots rented by individuals. All materials and labor are donated, and the food that is grown is shared amongst those who have need, whether or not they have contributed time, materials or labor. All surplus is donated to local food banks and other charities. No one is ever charged money for the food that is grown.
To learn more about the Sharing Gardens or to make a direct contribution, visit
alpinegarden.blogspot.com.

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library

Passing the buck

Posted on 11 September 2012 by admin

Monroe City Council needing to address who pays SDCs for new library building

by Sayde Moser
for The Tribune
MONROE – The city council still has yet to come to a determination on whether they will be waiving or paying the System Development Charges (SDCs) for the new library, which started construction a few months ago. South Benton Enhancement Committee member Roger Irvin had previously asked the city to waive the fees.
The total bill for water, sewer, storm drainage and street charges for the library would be $62,367.
City Manager Jim Minard suggested the council address upfront whether it wanted to waive the fees or reduce them, so everyone could plan accordingly. The council has the ability to reduce the fees if it so desires, but cannot raise them.
Mayor Frank Thayer suggested working with the library board and at least reducing the fees to show the city’s support for the project.
“The library is for the community and it is the only thing our children have to keep them occupied,” he said.
Councilor Carol McGlasson disagreed, stating, “This is a South Benton library. This is not the Monroe library.” She added that she felt the city should not waive the SDCs. “If we waive the transportation fees or any portion of this, it sets a precedent.”
“It would be morally and ethically wrong to waive these or any fees when we just went to the public and told them we are hiking up their water bill,” agreed Councilor Brandy Rainy. “Every time a fee is waived, it places an ongoing burden on present and future residents.”
The SDCs are based on what is called an equivalent dwelling unit, which sets a minimum standard for each SDC. For uses that exceed these standards, the fee is adjusted.
For water service, the library would be charged $7,152.53. For sanitary sewer, which is based on the number of plumbing fixtures in the facility and multiplied by three, the library would be looking at a $14,433.65 charge. The storm water SDC is based on the square footage of the property, totaling $8,363.13 in SDC fees. The transportation SDC equals $30,018.64, which is a little more than seven times that of an equivalent dwelling unit. The transportation SDC provides for street upgrades that improve traffic throughout the city.
The council agreed to set up a meeting with the South Benton Community Enhancement group and discuss the matter of SDCs, as well as what the city’s responsibility will be once the building is completed. There has been talk that the building will be turned over to the city, but the council still feels it is a gray area.
Minard said that other cities like Alsea, Philomath and Corvallis have an agreement with the county and an understanding that the library district operates the library – provides computers, material and labor – and the city is responsible for the maintenance of the building and grounds and water and sewer bills.
“You have kind of gone on record that we understood this is what they do elsewhere and this is what the city will consider doing as well,” he told the council. “They expect us to take over once the library becomes operational which is why we have $6,000 more in the budget for those utilities.”
Under federal grant requirements, the city will not be allowed to change the usage of the building for the next five years.

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freemusicclipart

Monroe Labor Day Music Festival this weekend

Posted on 30 August 2012 by admin

All monies generated will go to help the local food bank

MONROE – Sept. 1, Labor Day weekend, will mark the first ever music festival in Monroe. And founder Dudley Clark thinks it will be a huge hit.
As owner of Hard Times Distillery in downtown Monroe, Clark has been pondering ways to bring the community together for the last four years.
“As the years rolled by, I started to know more about our community, I spent a lot of time here and met a lot of people,” he told the council last week. “So combining the knowledge of what the community is all about and the fact that we are right downtown and I have the knowledge and skill sets to make something happen, I thought, what if I got sponsorships and made something happen and did it in conjunction with the city.”
Clark has been testing the waters to see if there is any interest in the community and already has several local vendors lined up, enough live music entertainment to last from 10am-8pm and a raffle with two complete computer systems, professionally-made cakes and other local treasures. All the money generated will go to help the local food bank.
“If this thing takes off, we should develop a 501(c)3 for it and the bank will put together an account so people can donate money,” Clark said.
Clark envisions turning the area behind his store into a stage for the musicians. Hull Oaks has agreed to donate the porta potties and possibly the wood for building the stage.
“It will essentially be cost free,” Clark reiterated, adding, “This will actually stay somewhat small, rural and owned by Monroe. If the first one works and the vendors and musicians like it, then knowledge of the event will spread and next year we will increase it to two days.”
Once the new library is open, Clark hopes to use the terrace for events, as well as adding hot air balloon rides and a bouncy-house castle for little kids. If the music entertainment becomes too big for the space, he mentioned moving it to the baseball field in years to come.
“We could be creating a situation where people come to Monroe, park and just walk it,” he stated. “Here is a chance for people to learn that Monroe is an active community with lots of interesting people. It will give the town something they can do at the end of summer and the money goes to help people.”
Clark mentioned that if they ever raised more money than the food bank needed, they could start donating to other community organizations, like the senior center.
“This could very well be a ground breaking thing for Monroe. We could create an event that our kids remember and we are creating memories.”

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d5d4ff6d34450b70677716a83f225d0f-steren-bike-rider-clip-art

Alpine Century Ride raises more than $4,000

Posted on 30 August 2012 by admin

MONROE – The sixth annual Alpine Century Ride took place on Saturday, Aug. 11 and raised more than $4,000 for Alpine Community Center’s 2012-2013 operating costs.
Alpine Century continues to bring new cycling visitors to our small rural community from California, Ashland, Bend, Portland, Seattle, Nevada and Idaho.
“Bringing these visitors into the area to share our fabulous, scenic cycling and hospitality is part of the joy of this event,” explained event coordinator Mike Ripley. “Another is the opportunity it gives to bring the small rural Alpine community together.”
More than 50 volunteers shared their time and talent to bring this event to life.
Alpine Century income funds the facility and programs of the all-volunteer non-profit Alpine Community Center such as the Alpine Co-op Preschool, Alpine Recycling Center, Alpine Holiday Festival, First Friday, Bingo, Teens in Action, Ford Foundation Training Classes and a gathering place for the community
The 2012 Alpine Century received sponsorship support from REI, Peak Sports, Benton-Lane Winery, Corvallis Cyclery, Consumers Power, Pioneer Telephone Cooperative and South Benton Community Enhancement.

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To our fine community

To our fine community

Posted on 14 August 2012 by admin

By Steve Rowland
For The Tribune
Your community newspaper, The Tribune News, is here to stay. As you know, our staff and printing and web are supported by advertisers and subscribers. We have now designed our newspaper to flex its pages and content based upon a formula that is composed of the number of ads and the number of subscribers, per each weekly copy. This will give The Tribune News stability and allow it to function for years to come.
The Tribune News staff decided last spring that the printed newspaper must have a website that complements the information we offer our readers—we have done that!
We have enhanced our website to include pictures and stories that don’t fit in the weekly paper. We have found that most readers – and we have approximately 4,000 of them – like to read 200-500 word stories. So, for most stories longer than that, we will put the longer version on our website, www.YourTribuneNews.com. If a longer version of a story is available on YourTribuneNews.com it will be noted at the end of the article in the newspaper.
Also on the website are archived stories and pictures from the past few months of production. This website will grow and so will its information—Check it out.
Thank you all for supporting The Tribune News.

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The story of a little lost dragon

The story of a little lost dragon

Posted on 14 August 2012 by admin

By Gini Bramlett
For the Tribune
MONROE – If you live in Monroe, you may have spotted a purple dragon making its way around town a couple of weeks ago looking for its home. The little guy made stops at various locations asking those it encountered if they knew where he lived.
The dragon in question is the main character in a book written and photographed by The Teen Time Gang, a group of eight students who were part of the summer Art in the Park program.
Program director, Lori Bechtold, a Monroe teacher and the driving force behind the increasingly popular art program, was approached by Lonnie and Alison Hellwege who volunteered to teach a week of photography to the group.
“I get fabulous guest artists. The Hellwege’s always come up with fabulous projects for the teens to do,” said Bechtold. “They had the idea of doing a book.”
The teens did everything required to produce their own book by week’s end including creating the character and the premise, writing the text and directing and taking photos at various venues around town. The Hellweges helped them put it all together.
“All of our kids did a tremendous job,” said Bechtold.
Last Tuesday morning, the unveiling took place at the Monroe Public Library where librarian, Lori Pelkey, read ‘Home at Last, The Story of a Little Dragon’ to the kids who attended Storytime.
Copies of the book are located at the library and another is displayed at the bank for the community to enjoy.
Good news is the dragon did find its home. But you’ll have to find out where he lives at www.facebook.com/MonroeArtInTheParkTeenTimeGang.

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Screen shot 2012-07-10 at 2.57.16 PM

A hidden treasure

Posted on 10 July 2012 by admin

photos by Steve Rowland
The gorgeous falls, created by the South Fork of the Alsea River, are just a short hike from the campground. They can be reached on foot only, and can be enjoyed by day trippers or campers alike. The river was named after the Alsi Indians and offers a cool, peaceful retreat from the summer sun.

by Sayde Moser
for the Tribune

If you are looking to get away this summer, but don’t have the time or money to go too far, you might be interested to know of a quiet, tranquil campsite no more than 25 miles from Junction City.
It is just a quick drive north into Monroe, turning left at Alpine Cutoff Road. Continue left onto Alpine Road and follow it all the way to the top.
As you leave the hustle and bustle of Junction City, the world outside your car transforms from perfectly patterned farmland to striking Oregon forests. The smooth blacktop winds its way up into the Oregon Coast Range, weaving between Douglas fir and vine maple trees, which every now and then give way, offering a stunning view of the valley and little hills covered in baby trees.
Purple and lavender foxglove decorates the side of the road, shivering in the wind. Honeysuckle, Oregon iris and other wildflowers are also easily spotted, offering a splash of color to the mostly green backdrop.
Nearby ridges host forests of old-growth Douglas fir and Western red cedar. The old-growth is home to woodpeckers, owls, hawks, squirrels and other forest animals. Deer and elk can often be seen grazing in some of the more recently replanted open areas where there is more grass and shrubs. Hikers along the falls might even see a beaver or two.
The forest floor is covered with a plethora of ferns and other plants hiding from the sun, which peeks through the canopy above, creating awesome shadows on the road. It is easy to forget you are only a stones throw from Monroe.

Click here to read more.

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Monroe’s doors officially open

Posted on 22 March 2012 by admin

Monroe School District sets the number of non-resident students it will accept in the new school year

by sarah Moser
for the tribune
Last month the Monroe School Board unanimously agreed on the number of non-resident students its district would be accepting into each grade level under House Bill 3681.
The numbers were recommended by Superintendant Randall Crowson, High School Principal Bill Crowson and Grade School Principal Brenda Goracke, who analyzed each class size and what they felt was doable for the school. They also took into consideration the possibility that they would be losing students under the bill as well.
The number of students that will be accepted is as follows; Kindergarten; two; first grade; nine; second grade; zero, third grade; 11; fourth

Click here to read more.

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