, Ore. (KMTR) -- The city of Springfield is looking to help art programs at Lane Community College as it pulls up pieces of its historic timber town roots in the process of restoring the old mill race pond.
The city is a few years deep in working to restore habitat in the old mill race area south of downtown. The pond has significant roots in the city’s historical record. Springfield’s founder Elias Briggs hand dug the pond with his son to hold logs for sale.
In the process of restoring the area, crews have found more than 300 enormous pine and fir logs that sunk in the pond over the years. Many of those logs were preserved.
However, the city is faced with the problem of what to do with the logs. Many of them have little to no market value. Several local businesses were also contacted about taking the logs for free, but none of them accepted the offer. The logs need to be disposed of in the long term.
Springfield is now in the process of striking a deal with Lane Community College. The school will pay to move the logs and use them for its arts program.
Some of the logs date back to the early 1900’s.
“It's great for the Springfield taxpayer, we can continue with the project. We don't pay for removing these logs. It's great for LCC because they get these pieces of historic lumber that they can turn into projects or use for art projects or whatever they want. So it's really a win-win, an unusual opportunity,” says Neil Laudati, spokesman for the city of Springfield.
You can see what some of the logs look like in the lobby of Springfield City Hall. The city had a few benches made out of the old timber. A few of the log slabs are also mounted on the wall nearby for display.
Springfield is expected to finalize the log trade agreement with LCC at a city council meeting on Monday, November 7th, 2011. LCC will take around 30 of the 300 logs. Meanwhile, the city is still looking for a long term plan for the remain logs.