Corvallis City Council voted on April 5 to begin posting and cleaning up camps on city property by May 15. The city had not fully enforced its illegal camping orders since March 2020 due to the pandemic.
Councilors said yes to the cleanups amid community concerns about livability, litter, environmental challenges and a reduced ability of residents to use city parks.
Since the cleanups began in mid-May, however, councilors have faced a constant rate of criticism from the community about the cleanups, the key question being: where are the homeless supposed to go. ?
Ward 2 Councilor Charles Maughan, a key advocate for the Homeless Council, brought forward a motion to stop cleanups during the Councilors’ Reports section of the July 6 meeting.
Here is the text of Maughan’s motion: “Rescind Council’s previous motion to resume posting and cleaning of camps, until city and / or county staff can present Council with options for one or more designated camping sites. “
To date, according to City Manager Mark Shepard’s report in the council brief, 85 camps have been cleared by a combination of teams from the Corvallis Department of Parks and Recreation and the Oregon Department of Transportation.
Camps were cleaned up in Pioneer Park, BMX Zone, Skate Park Zone, Orléans and Berg Natural Areas and Willamette Park.