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Published: Thursday, 6/12/2003

Oregon seeking source of oil slick near intersection

BY TAD VEZNER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

A sheen of oil on subsurface water at the intersection of Otter Creek and Cedar Point roads is perplexing Oregon council members.

The layer, reported to be several inches deep in some catch basins close to the intersection, was discovered by Mid-Valley Pipeline workers in the area.

“It seems to be a pure product,” Paul Roman, director of Oregon's public services, told council members this week. “That means the source of the spill most likely is within a mile of that intersection.”

He said possible sources within the area include Sunpipe, which has a pipeline in the area; a superfund commercial oil site that was cleaned up by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1997; and British Petroleum, which, upon being made aware of the spill, constructed a dam around the contaminated area to contain it.

The council unanimously decided this week to appropriate up to $16,000 to find the source of the contaminant.

Council members also debated whether summer baseball games through the recreation department have rigidly structured time limits.

Joe Wasserman, who will be the city's recreation director July 1, brought the topic to the board.

Mr. Wasserman, speaking on behalf of the Independent Umpires Association, urged the board to consider posting time limits on games to avoid schedule conflicts, which are particularly troublesome to traveling teams.

But at least one council member objected to the idea.

“I'm a purist,” said councilman Matt Szollosi. “I don't want to see kids being told they can't keep playing, that they should just give up. And what about tie games? To me, stopping early is not what the game is about.”

Ralph Burgess, President of the city's Independent Umpire Association, said umpires don't care how long the games last.

“But I'd hate to have a parent show up, and the team playing before their kid's is only in their third inning,” he said. “Plus, to be honest, we'd prefer not to have four-hour games.”

After 30 minutes of discussion, councilman Jerry Peach quipped: “We experience that same feeling here in council chambers.”

Council members postponed a decision until the Committee of Recreation and Parks, chaired by councilman Tony Romano, meets to discuss it Monday and makes a recommendation.

The council also decided this week to change yield signs to stop signs at various intersections within the Moundview and Vineyard subdivisions; Cardinal Bay Estates; and Wynn Park Villas, to impede speeders and discourage traffic.



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