As community members pitched in to stack their plastic chairs at the Glide Community Center Tuesday night, there seemed to be more questions than answers pertaining to a potential lease agreement between nonprofit Glide Revitalization and the Glide School District.

The nonprofit has earned the opportunity to apply for a Building Resilient Infrastructures in Communities through the Federal Emergency Management Agency with the hopes of making improvements to vacant property between Glide High School and its former middle school.

Glide Revitalization currently houses its offices in the former middle school located on Glide Loop Road.

Close to 150 people attended Tuesday night’s meeting to attempt to get a better idea of Glide Revitalization’s intentions in proposing a 99-year lease to the school district to make improvements on the athletic fields between the two campuses.

“I think it’s pretty great when people get together — instead of hashing it out on Facebook — to see each other face-to-face and hope to get simple answers to simple questions,” said Roseburg City Councilor Brian Prawitz, who agreed to serve as a mediator at the community meeting.

“We know people may be a little preloaded coming into tonight, but hopefully we can dial that back, hear the question you’re asking and give the best possible answer and keep things cool,” he said.

Keeping it cool lasted roughly an hour.

Glide Revitalization Executive Director Alison Doty talked about the planned improvements for the school district property and about the grant process the nonprofit has been involved in with FEMA as well as other charities.

Doty spoke of relocating with her husband Jody Doty, a long-time coach and educator at Glide, and their family from Joseph, a town similar in size to Glide on the edge of Hell’s Canyon in northeast Oregon.

Glide Revitalization, which had operated on a modest budget in its early years, was thrust to the forefront as a source of relief for many area residents following the Archie Creek Fire of 2020. Through that relationship with the federal agency, the nonprofit in August was granted the opportunity to apply for a community improvement grant to develop a family recreation area of sorts utilizing the vacant athletic fields, the former middle school classrooms and gym, and the historic 1922 Building, which once housed the Glide School District headquarters.

During Tuesday night’s presentation, Alison Doty and Jody Brown, president of the Glide Revitalization Board of Commissioners, attempted to clarify certain aspects of the group’s improvement plans, including how any grant funds would be earmarked and the proposed 99-year lease.

“The BRIC grant is designed to help the community as a whole,” Brown explained. “But it has to be a long-term lease. If you’re going to give someone millions of dollars, don’t you want to know who’s going to be in charge of that money?

“The 99-year lease is basically semantics. No one can guarantee we’re going to be here in 99 years, it just means that there’s no end date. We plan to be here a long time. We have long-term plans for Glide,” Brown said.

Among the plans on the vacant property are new baseball fields, batting cages, a ropes course, a new football field, a pavilion and concessions, and a water park.

Of course, that requires built-in infrastructure Glide has struggled with in recent years.

With an estimated population of 1,800, Glide is the largest community in Douglas County which is not incorporated, meaning funds for such community improvements are much harder to come by.

“Because of that, we’ve been excluded from a lot of funding,” Doty said. “It does hold us back.”

Brown emphasized that if there were to be an agreed-upon lease with the school district, if anything were to happen where Glide Revitalization were to close its doors, the property under the lease would revert back to the school district.

One of the many points of contention was word that the nonprofit was planning to construct a homeless shelter out of its BRIC grant. Brown clarified that any such housing facility would be solely for community members displaced by an emergency and that the grant would not allow specifically for a homeless shelter.

“I’m not sure where that started, but I want to put that to bed right now,” Brown said.

After roughly an hour, there were audible grumbles in the audience based on some answers from Brown and Doty, at one point one of them being accused of making light of one community member reading from a prepared statement. Eventually, Prawitz stepped in and brought to meeting to a close.

The Glide School Board will be holding a work session Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the Glide High School library, and the public is welcome to attend. Glide Revitalization has a deadline of Jan. 28 to submit its formal grant application to FEMA.

Donovan Brink can be reached at dbrink@nrtoday.com and 541-957-4219.

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Cops and Courts Reporter

Donovan Brink is the cops and courts reporter for The News-Review.

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(9) comments

Momos

I doubt FEMA would approve funds to build a sports park mainly for high schoolers. The majority of Glide residents wouldn't see any benefit. Ball fields require expensive maintenance, irrigation and oversight. The infrastructure isn't there.

guest232

FEMA funds should not be used for Batting Cages. Think about it...

BetsyC

Why isn't the school district applying for the funds?

guest232

Keep Glide The small town it is..

Mike

Do you like it now that the mill is shut down and a lot of businesses went under or did you prefer it when the mill was in operation?

Mike

No good deed or person goes unpunished by Glide's Facebook community.

guest232

we do noy need the fed's in Glide..

guest232

SHOULD BE PRINTING IS, MISAPPROPRIATION OF TAXPAYER FUNDS.

THIS IS WRONG, AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT JUST FOR A MINUTE, I DO BELIEVE YOU AND ALL THE OTHER TAXPAYERS THAT GET UP EVERY MONDAY MORNING AND GO TO WORK WOULD AGREE. JUST BECAUSE THE FEDS ARE WILLING TO GIVE OUR MONEY A WAY, DOES NOT MAKE IT RIGHT. PLUS SOME (A LOT ) DO NOT WANT THIS IN OUR NICE QUITE TOWN OF GLIDE..

FEMA FUNDS SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR THIS..

mworden

And, please, caps lock should not be used for this.

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