MONMOUTH — Word of the state’s first relief grant to Oregon’s small businesses was announced to the Monmouth City Council March 2.

City Manager Marty Wine said the grant to ease the effects of the COVID-19 virus would start Monday of last week and run for two weeks. She said a second allocation would come in April.

Wine also said Police Chief Darrell Tallan, whose retirement is effective April 30, would use the remainder of his vacation time to make March 2 his last day on the job. Lt. Isaiah Haines will be the acting chief through April, she said.

The council approved a zone change, recommended by the Monmouth Planning Commission, for Ash Creek Station, a commercial development near the S curves on Monmouth Ave., from medium density residential to commercial.

Also approved was a renewal of all the business liquor licenses in Monmouth. The action came after Councilor Carol McKiel asked police Sgt. Mike Strack whether the frequency of incidents at Jack’s Pub would cause a problem with renewal of the license there. Strack said it should not, because it is the kind of bar where such incidents typically happen, and Jack’s has done a good job of contacting the police.

The council heard Sheila Landis of the Albany accounting firm of Koontz, Blasquez & Associates that the city had a clean audit.

Councilor John Oberst reported that the traffic speed study the city has wanted has not been made, because the Oregon Department of Transportation has given priority to improving Highway 99W.

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