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Roseburg library receives grants from Oregon Community Foundation

The Roseburg Public Library has received a $100,000 grant from the Oregon Community Foundation, which will help pay for creation of a state-of-the-art children’s library and a library for teens and pre-teens.

About $50,500 comes from the Crane Creek Family Fund, the Olsrud Family Fund and the Robert K. and Judith A. McDermott Fund.

The other half of the money comes from the OCF Whipple Foundation Fund, which was established in 2003 by Mildred Whipple to support lifelong learning for Douglas County citizens. The foundation has a mission of helping reopen libraries that were formerly part of the Douglas County Library System.

“We are grateful to The Oregon Community Foundation for its support in this endeavor, which we believe is vital to a thriving community, as well as to the education of Douglas County youth and life-long learners,” City Manager Lance Colley said in a written statement. “The early support from OCF was instrumental in our efforts to raise the funds necessary to provide for the library renovation.”

The Ford Family Foundation is matching the OCF funds.

The library has been closed since May 31, 2017. It was formerly the main branch of the 11-branch Douglas County Library System, but was shut down due to lack of funds following voters’ rejection of a library district.

The city of Roseburg is partnering with the Douglas Education Service District to reopen the building. Once renovations are complete, ESD plans to move its management offices into the library building, and to provide IT and courier services to the library in lieu of rent.

The city plans to reopen the library in October.

OCF Donor Relations Officer Joan Kerns said in a written statement the grants “underscore how important libraries are to donors in Douglas County and also advance our organization-wide initiative to invest in education at all levels to help close the achievement gap.”

News of the grant comes as the Douglas Education Service District announced that book-sharing services for libraries throughout Douglas County will resume in July as the Douglas ESD expands its courier system.

The new service is being offered as part of the ESD’s partnership with the City of Roseburg to open the Roseburg Public Library. The courier system will begin July 11 and will be available to all libraries in the county.

Libraries will become added stops along the ESD’s current courier route, which serves 13 member school districts. Libraries will be included in the schedule during the regular school year, as well as once a week during the summer and other times when schools are normally closed, such as spring and winter breaks.

All libraries within the current school district route will be welcome to participate at no charge. The hope is to also serve Reedsport Public Library, although it is not located in the regular ESD service region.

Libraries will designate pickup and drop-off areas, with books and other materials marked with their destinations. The materials will be delivered either the week of pickup or the following week. The ESD will be contacting libraries with its scheduled delivery times, and libraries can choose when they would like to begin the service.

The Roseburg Public Library will also be able to use the courier system.

Taprock Northwest Grill looking to open location in Roseburg

Thomason Hospitality Group, owner of Elmer’s Restaurant in Roseburg, is scouting locations to bring Taprock Northwest Grill to Roseburg.

Taprock is an $8 million upscale log cabin restaurant set on the Rogue River in Grants Pass near Hellgate Canyon. Owner Dave Thomason said that location is not necessarily what a Roseburg Taprock would look like.

“That is a not prototypical,” Thomason said. “We are looking for what would be a second company-owned store with the intent of franchising it.”

The owners of Elmer’s started Taprock in Washington to franchise it to existing Elmer’s operators, but they decided to keep their focus on Elmer’s and sold the Taprock brand to Thomason. He had already opened the second store in the Grants Pass location and now wants to take advantage of the work already done to franchise it.

“It’s a very difficult process to take any store, to take it through the legal process to franchise it,” Thomason said.

He said has not pinned down a location yet, but he is in discussions with land owners on potential sites for a toned-down version of the Grants Pass eatery. Thomas Hospitality recently purchased both Human Bean locations in Roseburg.

Roseburg City Council unanimously approves 2018-19 budget

The Roseburg City Council Monday unanimously approved a $69.6 million budget for fiscal year 2018-19.

The decision followed a public hearing at which no one made comments. The final approval followed a May decision by the city’s budget committee, which approved the budget proposed by city staff, without alterations.

The budget includes $240,000 in state revenue sharing, which will go into the general fund to support city services.

The overall general fund is $25 million. The department receiving the biggest share of that fund is the police department, budgeted at $7 million. The fire department comes in a close second, at $6.6 million. After that are public works at $3.7 million, city administration at $2.5 million, parks and recreation at $1.7 million, community development at $787,000, and municipal court at $505,000.

For the first time, the budget includes $355,535 for a new city library department. The city hopes to have the library reopened by October. It was formerly operated by the county government as part of a countywide system that shut down last year following voter rejection of a countywide library district.

Notable changes to the 2018-19 budget over this year’s budget include the addition of four new staff positions to the budget. Three are in the library, including newly hired library director Kris Wiley, and two part-time library staff positions.

The fourth new position included in the budget approved Monday is in the community development department. That position will be paid for by increased building and planning permit revenue.

The budget includes $8.3 million for capital improvements. Notable capital expenditures included in the budget are $1.9 million for renovations to the library building, and $1.1 million to rehabilitate two city fire stations so that they would be safer during an earthquake.

The budget is in part paid for by an $8.48 per $1,000 property tax.