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OSU likely to contribute funding to livability crackdown

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Oregon State University likely will provide financial assistance as the city and university look to ramp up enforcement of livability issues in the near-campus neighborhoods.

Although overall livability calls for offenses such as loud parties, trash, noise and alcohol violations have been trending down in recent years, the city and OSU think there is room for improvement, particularly on high-incident nights such as Halloween.

“The university and the Corvallis Police Department are going to partner to increase enforcement,” Jonathan Stoll, OSU’s community relations coordinator, said in a Tuesday visit to the monthly Rental Property Managers Group meeting at the Elks Lodge.

Corvallis Police Chief Jon Sassaman and Steve Clark, OSU’s vice president for marketing and university relations, announced earlier this month that they will be working on a joint enforcement plan, and Stoll noted that the university’s contribution likely will be financial.

No information was available on how much money OSU will be contributing or what the funds will pay for. Clark and Sassaman are scheduled to release their plan in the next 60 to 90 days, Stoll said.

The property management group also discussed Wednesday’s housing fair at OSU. The third rendition of the event, which runs from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Memorial Union ballroom, includes a cooperative venture between the university and the landlords that offers deposit reductions for students who attend workshops on off-campus living and pass an online exam.

Dawn Duerksen of Duerksen & Associates strongly encouraged property managers to participate, noting that greater tenant education is a key component of the livability puzzle.

“This is a huge piece for us,” Duerksen said. “They are renting from all of us collectively, and we need to educate them all."

The workshops will be offered during today’s housing fair; Stoll noted that they also will be offered in OSU residence halls and online. Duerksen, meanwhile, announced plans to host a workshop.

“Let’s make it more accessible,” Duerksen said. “What does it hurt to try?”

Contact reporter James Day at jim.day@gazettetimes.com or 541-758-9542. Follow at Twitter.com/jameshday or gazettetimes.com/blogs/jim-day.

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