Oregon had no shortage of exciting news this year, both good and bad.
But when the Observer staff voted on stories of the year, it wasn’t even close. The persistent flooding in and around the village was the clear No. 1.
It’s flooding nothing new, as the ongoing effort to repair or rebuild the 4 year old Rotary Bike Trail from its submerged state has been stuck in the muck for the past two years.
Early this year, residents sought village help with Badfish Creek overflow on Jefferson Street and stormwater ponds at the Bergamot golf course. Later in the year, the village closed Netherwood Road for several days because of flooding and held a forum to both educate people about what the village is doing and trade ideas.
It was even worse outside the village, where several residents around Lake Barney – which has grown from 30 acres to 800 over the past few years – have found their homes continually flooded and drowning in a sea of red tape, dealing with as many as seven government units.
Village and school developments dominated most of the list, topped by the Village Board’s sharp rebuke to its police chief after he got on the wrong side of the Oregon School District.
OSD has had a plenty busy year planning for its new elementary school in Fitchburg, which tied for third with the election of the first new village president in a decade, Jeanne Carpenter.
At No. 5 was the construction of the new Oregon Youth Center, all with money donated from the community. That was followed on our list with the announcement that Brian Busler would be retiring as OSD’s superintendent.
No. 7 was the opening of the village’s first full-service hotel in decades, the Sleep Inn and Suites, a few blocks from U.S. Hwy. 14. That was followed by the ongoing fundraising and planning for the new library, which is expected to get its budget determined in June.
Concerns over traffic at Oregon Middle School and Rome Corners Intermediate were an issue early in the year, and plans for Anderson Park to get a dog park and a market garden were announced in the summer.