City receives 15 new Pallet shelters

The City of Cottage Grove has added 15 new Pallet shelters to its inventory as preparations are made to install a total of 33 such shelters at the city’s property at 2205 Highway 99.

The site was recently approved by the city council to be developed as a low-barrier homeless shelter. The development was approved by only a thin margin in a 4-3 vote on April 25.

The new Pallet shelters are in addition to 18 others which have been installed at the Community Sharing Warming Shelter site on N 12th Street since Jan. 2021.

All shelters were purchased and are owned by Lane County.

Cottage Grove requested the 15 new shelters to increase the alternative shelter capacity in the community amid a public debate about how to address homelessness in the area.

With the move of the shelters to the Hwy 99 site, however, the future of Community Sharing Warming Shelter site remains unclear. Community Sharing Executive Director Mike Fleck said it is unlikely the service will return next winter season.

“I would assume that we’re not,” said Fleck, adding that “time will tell” regarding what a winter warming shelter site might look like, if any.

The shelters are manufactured by the Washington-based company Pallet. Made from aluminum and plastic composite materials, the structures are billed as resistant to rot, durable and easy to disinfect for day-to-day use.

Pallet shelters come in two sizes and amenities include beds, electrical outlets, a heater, air conditioner, smoke detector, shelf space and lockable doors.

The city began development of the Hwy 99 site following the council’s vote.

“We will be planting some Arborvitae along the southern property line, building a solid wood fence, installing a gate to close the Hwy 99 entrance and gates to provide access on the side of the property facing the future R Street and installing connections for the shower trailer,” said the city in a release. “Demolition has begun on the back bedroom of the house preparing for the construction of the showers/restrooms.”

Under the plan, the low-barrier homeless shelter site will be managed by a third party, which must still be chosen.

As work begins on the site, city staff are also preparing a draft RFP (request for proposal), which will be presented to the city council at its May 9 meeting. The RFP will provide an opportunity for the council to stipulate conditions regarding the site and the contractor selection process.


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