The latest Portland State University population estimate placed Cottage Grove’s population at 10,005, triggering mandated changes that all cities in the state of Oregon must adhere to after reaching more than 10,000 residents.
“Once the population estimate is certified the city of Cottage Grove will be over 10,000 in population,” City Manager Richard Meyers office wrote in a weekly statement. “With that designation we have additional requirements in solid waste and recycling programs and in storm water treatment program. Staff has been preparing to meet the new requirements.”
The estimate is expected to be certified after a review period on Dec. 17. Once the estimate is certified, Cottage Grove will be considered a city with a population over 10,000 and the number can be used by state and local governments for revenue sharing, fund allocation and planning purposes.
As a city with more than 10,000, Cottage Grove will have to add an additional garbage service. When the city failed to hit 10,000 people in 2017 (coming in at 9,920), Meyers suggested the city may lean toward opting for a weekly yard debris service that would either be billed separately or increase the cost of the current garbage bill.
The city must also address its waste water system by installing catch basins to separate debris.
“We started doing this but we have hundreds of storm water outlets throughout the city and we’ll probably have a new staff member for this but it’s budgeted in our five-year plan,” Meyers previously told The Sentinel in 2016 when the population hovered dangerously close to 10,000 residents. The new employee would be responsible for checking the stormwater outlets and ensuring the collectors are functioning properly. In addition to budgeting for an additional employee, the city also attempted to stay ahead of the 10,000-resident curve by purchasing a vactor truck earlier this year. “We use it now but it can also suck up the storm catch basin debris,” Meyers previously said.