This week in business and other news

Battle Ground residents invited to provide feedback on housing needs

The City of Battle Ground is inviting community members to participate in developing a plan for what housing will look like for future generations. The city is creating a Housing Action Plan, funded by a grant from the Washington State Department of Commerce.

Housing is not just about shelter, but about creating a sense of home and building a strong community. As the community grows, its needs for housing grow with it.

Battle Ground’s Housing Action Plan will assess local housing needs and identify policy strategies and implementation actions to meet local demand. This project builds upon Battle Ground’s Roadmap community vision and complements the updates to the Land Use Master Plan by focusing on community housing needs and maintaining community character.

The city is asking for residents’ feedback via the Housing Action Plan Community Survey available on the city’s Housing Action Plan page. The survey is open through Nov. 20 and is a first step in public participation as the Housing Action Plan is developed. Those who prefer to participate in an alternative, hard-copy format may contact the city at 360-342-5047 or by email at ComDev.Info@cityofbg.org.

The Housing Action Plan, along with other long-range plans, will supplement the city’s next 20-year Comprehensive Plan update. To view the current Comprehensive Plan and learn more about long-range planning in the City of Battle Ground, visit www.cityofbg.org/149/Long-Range-Planning.  

City of Vancouver paving project starts Nov. 5 on Officers Row walkway/trail

A project to repave the Officers Row walkway/trail on the south side of Evergreen Boulevard, from Fort Vancouver Way to East Reserve Street, will get underway Nov. 5. This City of Vancouver project is expected to be completed in two to three weeks, weather permitting.

The City has hired Granite Construction to remove the existing asphalt surface and repave the walkway/trail. The project will also include construction of two new ADA-compliant pedestrian curb ramps north of 6th Street at the Fort Vancouver National Historic site maintenance entrance.

During construction, the walkway/trail will be closed to pedestrians and bicyclists. Please use an alternative route during this project. Although the walkway/trail will be closed, the parking lots nearby are expected to remain open. When near the construction zone, please be alert to barricades and remain out of the way of all construction activity. Please observe physical distancing from on-site construction crews and inspectors in keeping with state and local health guidelines. 

Public invited to review and comment on City of Battle Ground’s proposed budget for 2021

The City of Battle Ground recently published its Preliminary (proposed) Budget for 2021. City Council is scheduled to adopt the final 2021 Budget in December.

The proposed budget, available at www.cityofbg.org/2021Budget, was developed over the last several months with a focus on service level improvements and efficient use of public resources.  It is a balanced budget using conservative estimates of revenue and costs. 

The public is invited to review the proposed budget and provide input to the City Council at three budget-related public hearings scheduled for Nov. 2, Nov. 16 and Dec. 7.  City Council meeting agendas, posted five days prior to the each meeting, are available at www.cityofbg.org/agendacenter and include instructions on how to provide input during public hearings. City Council meetings are held publicly by Zoom. 

Detailed information about the budget process and proposed service level improvements is available on the city’s website at www.cityofbg.org/2021Budget. A hard copy of the proposed budget is available by contacting Finance Director Meagan Lowery at 360-342-5025.

Umpqua Bank provides additional relief to homeowners impacted by wildfires

Umpqua Bank, a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, announced today it will provide additional financial relief to homeowners impacted by wildfires seeking to rebuild, renovate or purchase a new home.

In West Coast Communities declared federal disaster areas by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Umpqua is waiving the loan origination fee up to $10,000 for impacted homeowners renovating or rebuilding their home. The bank estimates that most eligible homeowners will save between $2,000 and $5,000, depending on their home’s total cost. For impacted homeowners with loans serviced by Umpqua in designated areas, the bank will also waive any bank fees associated with purchasing another home.

“The devastation in some of our communities is staggering and almost unimaginable. As the hard work of recovery continues, we want our friends, neighbors and associates to know that we’re committed for the long haul,” said Umpqua Bank CEO Cort O’Haver. “Every little bit of support, financial or otherwise, is needed and helps those struggling to rebuild what was lost.”

Today’s announcement marks an expansion of Umpqua’s Wildfire Relief Program as wildfires in California have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes this week. The program was initially launched last month to help communities across Oregon, Washington and California recover from devastating wildfires that consumed more than 5 million acres and resulted in more than 30 deaths across the region.

As part of that launch, the bank announced $750,000 in funding to support impacted communities and small businesses. Umpqua also activated a Mortgage Relief program, as well as its Disaster Relief Loan Program to provide households access to cash quickly and help them recover financially.

For more information on relief for homeowners impacted by the wildfires, visit: https://www.umpquabank.com/blog/disaster-relief-loans-fires/.

Clark County, City of Vancouver formalize collaborative policy group to address homelessness

The Clark County Council and the Vancouver City Council this week  approved a memorandum of agreement between the two jurisdictions that establishes Clark County as the lead agency on regional homeless response and creates a joint executive group on homelessness to enable leaders from both organizations to collaborate on projects and initiatives that will address homelessness and its impacts within the county.

“Establishing this policy group is a much-needed step in the right direction on the issue of homelessness in our community,” said Interim County Manager Kathleen Otto. “I’m confident that working together with our partners at the city is the best approach to develop strategies to fight the devasting problem of homelessness in Clark County.”

“Homelessness is a humanitarian crisis that has been increasing across the country and in our region,” said City Manager Eric Holmes, “We are extremely pleased to be a significant supporting partner in addressing and reducing homelessness in our region and look forward to collaborating with Clark County and many other partners on solutions to this critical issue.”

Representatives from Clark County and the City of Vancouver met four times from July through September 2020 to discuss the formation of this joint executive group, which is comprised of two elected officials each from the County and City along with the County Manager and City Manager or their designee. With the County’s lead, the group will function as a policy forum to consider homelessness comprehensively and holistically with the goal of identifying gaps and opportunities for further coordination and investment.

The joint executive group is expected to hold its first meeting in early November 2020. A framework will be established for the group to grow over time to include other public agencies, local governments, non-profits, and individuals with lived experience with homelessness. The group also expects to work with all organizations providing homeless support services within the two jurisdictions. A focus will be on enabling regional discussions on homelessness that can go beyond the scope of the Continuum of Care to look at addiction, mental illness, and other root causes of housing instability.

The City of Vancouver’s full Resolution and the Memorandum of Agreement and Charter are available on the City’s website. The Agreement and Charter also are on the County’s website.

Legacy Health offers free flu shots in November

Legacy Health will offer free flu shots at several local community clinics and drive-up locations in Oregon and SW Washington through November. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get a flu shot this year.

While COVID-19 and the flu have similar symptoms, getting a flu shot will not protect you from getting COVID-19. However, it will lower your risk of getting the flu. 

“You definitely do not want to catch both influenza and COVID-19 at the same time this winter. Recovering from both of those infections together will place a lot of strain on your immune system and raise your risk of ending up in the emergency room or hospital,” said Holly Tse, M.D., Medical Home Director for Legacy Health. “Getting a flu shot now is the best way to keep yourself and your family safe and healthy this season.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend anyone over the age of six months get a flu shot every year. Talk with your doctor if you have specific concerns or questions.

Free flu vaccines will be available at several hospital campuses for community members aged six months and up while supplies last. No payment or insurance is required. Those under 15 years old need a guardian present. Legacy Health medical clinics and hospitals follow public health guidelines to ensure patient, visitor, and staff safety, including temperature screenings, physical distancing, and masks. Flu vaccine options meet every need: egg-free, high-dose, preservative-free, latex-free, four-strain.

By getting the flu shot, you are protecting yourself, your family, and everyone else around you.  Please see the enclosed dates and times for a convenient location near you.

Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center

November 3rd and November 10th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | Main Lobby

2211 N.E. 139th Street

Vancouver, WA 98686

Legacy Medical Group

November 6th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | Drive-through

Family Wellness Clinic

1000 S.E. Tech Center Drive, #120

Vancouver, WA 98683

Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center

November 7th and November 14th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | Cascade Classroom

Cascade Building Sleep Center

24700 S.E. Stark Street

Gresham, OR 97030

Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center

November 4th and November 11th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | Drive-through

Overton Parking Garage

2145 N.W. Overton Avenue

Portland, OR 97210

Legacy Silverton Medical Center

November 4th and November 12th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | First Floor Lobby

Family Birth Center

342 Fairview Street

Silverton, OR 97381

Legacy Emanuel Medical Center

November 6th and November 13th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | Conference Room East/West

Medical Office Building 2

501 N. Graham Street

Portland, OR 97227

Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center

November 2nd and November 9th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | Room 117

Health Education Center

19300 S.W. 65th Avenue

Tualatin, OR 97062

Holladay Park Campus

November 5th and November 12th

1 p.m.-7 p.m. | Laboratory Conference Room

1225 N.E. 2nd Avenue

Portland, OR 97232

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Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.