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Politics & Government

Eugene Receives $11 Million in State Funds For Park Development, Safe Sleep Sites, And More

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Laura Hammond
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Eugene got $11-million in state funding this legislative session that will help the city complete its Riverfront Park and provide more sites for homeless people to sleep. 

  

The Riverfront park project has been a vision for the city to connect its downtown to the Willamette River for two decades. Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis says the $5-million infusion from the state will help them complete construction.

 “We were short funding to complete the project, to fulfill the complete vision,” Vinis said. “And our delegation went to bat for us and carried this forward.” 

Construction continued through the pandemic and phase one of the park project is scheduled to open in August. The legislature also secured $3.25 million for the city to acquire and develop land for temporary sites for safe sleep sites.

The money will go to parcels of private and city-owned property that can be used for tent and vehicle camping for people who are without houses. Mayor Lucy Vinis says this helps in their efforts to help those who are unsheltered in the community.

“We have struggled for years to come up with rest stops with other sites and to come up with the funding for them,” Vinis said. “So for the legislature to step up and help us really fulfill our commitment on these projects is phenomenal.”

 The city council has approved setting up 300 camping sites and 200 vehicle-parking sites.

 

The legislature also allocated $2 million for development of a firefighter apprenticeship program for Eugene Springfield Fire, $150 thousand for evaluation and planning for broadband, and $350 thousand for the purchase of a crisis negotiation vehicle for Eugene Police. The city says the vehicle is meant to help EPD reach peaceful resolutions to critical incidents. 

 

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