Eugene: Economy

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Eugene: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Lumber is the largest industry in the Eugene area, where a number of manufacturing concerns produce lumber and wood products. The region is the nation's largest producer of softwood lumber and plywood products, although weak prices in the early 2000s have hurt the industry somewhat. Agriculture ranks second to the wood industry in the local economy, with a wide variety of crops grown. The Willamette Valley wine industry is a growing sector of the economy. A sizable food processing industry has grown up around the agricultural activity, and the area has seen recent growth in the RV manufacturing industry, such as the arrival of Legacy Coach to produce high-end luxury motor coaches.

Eugene serves central and southern Oregon as a retail and wholesale trade center. Services, government, and tourism are also contributors to the overall economy.

Items and goods produced: lumber, recreational vehicles, canned fruits and vegetables, dairy and meat products, chickens and chicken fryers, sheep, grass seed, metals, machinery, compact discs, computer software, plastics, electronic instruments, computer memory disks, sport and pleasure boats.

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

In recent years the emphasis in the Willamette Valley has switched from business recruitment to business retention and expansion programs designed to help resident companies "stay put and stay healthy." Among the many incentives available to businesses in Eugene are financial programs offered at the local level, such as the Eugene Business Development Funds; and at the state level, such as the Oregon Research & Technology Development Accounts and the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund. Other incentives include enterprise zones, new construction exemptions, and tax credits. Workforce incentive programs include employee recruiting, screening, and evaluating; customized training at Lane Community College; on-the-job training reimbursement; and certification services.

Job training programs

The state of Oregon's education program consists of a statewide apprenticeship program and has students choose between job training or a college preparatory program after the tenth grade. The program is to be installed in stages in schools through the year 2010. The Employer Workforce Training Fund is an Oregon grant program for employers wanting to upgrade the skills of their employees to the trade or healthcare sectors. The Lane Workforce Partnership oversees programs based on those grants, and also runs the JOBS Welfare-to-Work program. WorkSource Oregon centers not only help match employees and their skills's with employers, but also help bring workers to training programs, such as those at Lane Community College.

Development Projects

Aggressive efforts to diversify the local economy have resulted in several industrial expansions in the area; software development, RV manufacturing, and environmental technology-related fields are especially high-growth businesses. Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines will build a 200,000-square-foot national customer service center in the Eugene-Springfield area starting in 2005. Construction is planned to begin in 2006 on the new research center for the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute by the University of Oregon campus. The city of Eugene has been upgrading its emergency services with the new downtown Fire Station 1 at a cost of $5.1 million, and a $2.8 million Firehouse 11, both of which opened in 2005. Also in 2005 construction began on the Lane County Armed Forces Reserve Center in Springfield, the total cost of which is $32 million. The University of Oregon is restoring Reser Stadium, home of the Beavers football team, for $80 million, adding amenities and expanding seating to 55,000.

Economic Development Information: Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, 1401 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97401; telephone (541)484-1314; fax (541)484-4942. Lane Metro Partnership, PO Box 10398, Eugene, OR 97440; telephone (541)686-2741; fax (541)686-2325; email [email protected] Oregon Employment Department, 875 Union Street N.E., Salem, OR 97301; telephone (503)378-4824; toll-free (800)237-3710; email [email protected]

Commercial Shipping

A number of air-freight services operate out of Eugene Airport, notably Alaska/Horizon. More than 50 interstate truck carriers serve metropolitan Eugene and the West Coast via Interstate 5. Eugene is close to three deep-water ports, including the Port of Portland and the International Port of Coos Bay, for shipping to Asia. The Union Pacific and Burlington Northern railroads run through the area for shipping goods throughout North America.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Eugene boasts a skilled labor force with a good work ethic and low turnover rates. One third of the adult population has had four or more years of college. The city is the hub of one of the country's top 100 industrial areas. Continued growth is forecast in non-lumber manufacturing sectors, such as electronic and biotech technologies.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 143,500

Number of workers employed in . . .

natural resources and mining: 1,000

construction: 6,700

manufacturing: 19,300

trade, transportation and utilities: 26,700

information: 3,300

financial activities: 7,700

professional and business services: 15,500

educational and health services: 18,600

leisure and hospitality: 13,600

other services: 4,900

government: 26,200

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $14.89

Unemployment rate: 6.5% (February 2005)

Largest county employersNumber of employees
PeaceHealth Oregon4,125
University of Oregon3,760
Monaco Coach Corp.2,200
U.S. Government2,000
Lane Community College2,000
Lane County1,786
Eugene School District 4J1,651
Springfield School District1,500
City of Eugene1,465
McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center1,200

Cost of Living

The Chamber of Commerce describes Eugene housing as "plentiful, varied and built to last." Eugene is the center of many environmentally friendly housing construction projects and developments. The Chamber reported that the average home sale price in 2003 was almost $169,000. The average rental price of a 3-bedroom home was $900-$1200 per month and the average 2-bedroom apartment/duplex rented for $575-760 per month in 2003.

The following is a summary of data regarding key cost of living factors for the Eugene area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: Ranges from 5.0% to 9.0%

State sales tax rate: None

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: Real Property tax rate for the city of Eugene is $5 to $10 per $1,000 assessed valuation (2005)

Economic Information: Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce, 1401 Willamette Street, Eugene, OR 97401; telephone (541)484-1314; fax (541)484-4942. Lane Metro Partnership, PO Box 10398, Eugene, OR 97440; telephone (541) 686-2741; fax 686-2325; email [email protected] Oregon Employment Department, 875 Union Street N.E., Salem, OR 97301; telephone (503)378-4824 or (800) 237-3710; email [email protected]

Eugene: Recreation

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Eugene: Recreation


Eugene's Willamette River banks are lined with miles of paths and a number of picnic areas and scenic parks, including the 5-acre Owen Memorial Rose Garden. The Hendricks Park Rhododendron Garden features more than 6,000 rhododendrons and azaleas. Culminating at Spencer Butte, the city's highest point, the South Hills Ridgeline Trail showcases a variety of plants and wildlife. The Mount Pisgah Arboretum has trails throughout its 209 acres and multiple habitats. Tours of many historic homes and buildings, such as the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House from 1888, are also available in Eugene.

The surrounding area offers a number of attractions, such as scenic drives, a national park, wildlife and natural areas, mine and winery tours, and historic sites.

Arts and Culture

Eugene has a large and varied arts community. Companies that perform music include the Eugene Symphony, the Eugene Opera Company, the Oregon Mozart Players, the Oregon Festival of American Music, and the Eugene Youth Symphony; all these groups call the Hult Center for the Performing Arts home. The Shedd Institute is home to the Oregon Festival of American Music, which runs year round and features an eclectic variety of performers. Summer music concerts are held at the Cuthbert Amphitheatre in Alton Baker Park. The McDonald Theater, a historic restored movie house, presents touring and local musicians and performers.

The Eugene Ballet performs several times during the year at the Hult Center. The Actor's Cabaret of Eugene has been presenting plays and musicals since 1979. The Very Little Theatre is a volunteer community theater group that dates back to 1929. The Lord Leebrick Theatre Company presents five plays a year. The Hult Center is also home to the Wilamette Repertory Theatre.

The University of Oregon Natural History Museum contains exhibits in archeology, paleontology, and zoology. The Science Factory Children's Museum and Planetarium, formerly the Willamette Science and Technology Center, re-opened in 2002 and has 50 interactive exhibits and planetarium shows. Relics and memorabilia pertaining to the history of the Eugene area can be viewed at the Lane County Historical Museum. The Maude Kerns Art Center displays a number of works by local artists as well as traveling exhibits. The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art reopened in 2005 with a new addition that doubled the size of the museum. It houses a famous collection of Asian Art and hosts numerous special exhibits each year.

Festivals and Holidays

The Oregon Bach Festival is an annual highlight of Eugene's special events calendar. Held for two weeks in late June and early July, the festival is hosted on the University of Oregon campus and at the Hult Center. It features performances by internationally acclaimed soloists and orchestral, choral, and chamber music groups interpreting the compositions of eighteenth-century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Eugene also celebrates with a Folk Festival in May, a Country Fair in July, and Eugene Celebration, taking place for three days beginning in late September.

Sports for the Spectator

Professional baseball is represented in Eugene by the minor league Eugene Emeralds, a Class A farm club for the Chicago Cubs, who play at Civic Stadium. The University of Oregon fields teams in every major sport, competing at the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level; games are played at the 10,000-seat MacArthur Court and at the 42,000-seat Autzen Stadium, while track and field events take place at Hayward Field. Eugene is also a major center of track and field events, hosting the National Track and Field Championships on a regular basis.

Sports for the Participant

A wide range of outdoor recreation activities are available in and around Eugene, located only 60 miles away from either the mountains or the ocean. The Cascade Mountains offer opportunities for winter skiing and summer hiking, camping, and rafting. The glacier-fed McKenzie and Willamette rivers offer water sports such as fishing, boating, and kayaking. The city maintains nearly 2,000 acres of park land, with jogging trails, bike paths, pools, 24 athletic fields, 23 tennis courts, bowling alleys, a roller rink, an outdoor skateboard facility, and a major lighted softball complex. Emerald KIDSPORTS provides nearly 24,000 young people with organized sports programs such as soccer, baseball, softball, football, basketball, and volleyball.

Shopping and Dining

Valley River Center is an enclosed mall with 145 retail, food, and specialty businesses. The Fifth Street Public Market is a collection of specialty and craft shops and restaurants, and hosts musicians, artists, and special events. Boutiques can be found in Eugene Downtown. Saturday Market, an open-air market featuring fresh produce, hand-crafted goods, and ethnic foods, is open from April to Christmas. Gateway Mall, in nearby Springfield, has 80 stores and a 29-screen movie theater. Hundreds of area restaurants present fresh Oregon salmon, lamb, wines, apples, pears, and berries among their offerings. Coffee shops and cafes abound.

Visitor Information: Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County Oregon, 754 Olive St., Eugene OR 97401; telephone (541)484-5307; toll-free (800)547-5445; fax (541)343-6335; email [email protected]

Eugene: Education and Research

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Eugene: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Oregon Schools were rated fifth best in the nation by the Midwestern Research Institute. Eugene is home to three school districts, with the largest being Eugene School District 4J, which is the fourth largest in Oregon. A seven-member board, elected at large, governs the district. The board employs the superintendent.

Alternative public schools include International High School, three foreign language immersion schools (French, Spanish and Japanese), and an arts magnet school. Eugene's public school students consistently score higher on standardized tests than the state and national averages.

The following is a summary of data regarding Eugene public schools.

Total enrollment: 18,735

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 26

middle schools: 8

senior high schools: 4

other: 18 alternative schools

Student/teacher ratio: 22.7:1

Teacher salaries (20042005)

minimum: $37,097

maximum: $86,075

Funding per pupil: $7,100 (20022003)

Eugene is also served by three private high schools and 15 other private schools from Pre-K to grade 8, including religious and special education centers for all students, the gifted, and the physically and mentally challenged.

Public Schools Information: School District 4J, Eugene Public Schools, 200 North Monroe, Eugene, OR 97402-4295; telephone (541)687-3321

Colleges and Universities

The University of Oregon, a major research and educational institution with an enrollment of about 20,000 students, is located in Eugene. The university has schools in the arts and sciences, architecture, business, music, education, journalism and law. Lane Community College offers two-year associate and vocational degrees, serving almost 35,000 students in both credit and non-credit course study. Gutenberg College offers liberal arts education from a Protestant Christian base. Other educational institutions in Eugene are Northwest Christian College, Eugene Bible College, Oregon Business College, and the National Academy of Artistic Gymnastics.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Eugene Public Library consists of three locations: the Downtown Library, the Bethel Branch, and the Sheldon Branch. The system contains more than 360,000 items including books, periodical subscriptions, CDs, DVDs, audio and video tapes, and art reproductions. The library's special collections include fine children's literature and a state documents department. The University of Oregon's Knight Library holds 2.1 million volumes, more than 21,000 periodical subscriptions, and special collections on the American West, American missions and missionaries, Esperanto, Oriental literature and art, politics, and zeppelins. Other libraries at the university specialize in law, architecture, science, and mathematics. Northwest Christian College's library holds 65,000 volumes and Lane Community College holds 60,000 volumes.

Research activities in such fields as the environment, botany of the Pacific Northwest, molecular biology, marine biology, cellular biology, neuroscience, materials science, solar energy, chemical physics, applied materials, forest industries, labor, industrial relations, work organizations, ocean and coastal law, women and gender roles, human development, communication, recreation, mental retardation, and mass communications are conducted at centers in the Eugene area primarily through the University of Oregon. Technicians at Eugene's Riverfront Research Park engage in industrial research and development, data processing, and computer software development. The Southern Willamette Research Corridor, also in Eugene, is a 40-mile research, development, and specialized manufacturing site that facilitates cooperative ventures between area colleges and universities, industry, and local government.

Public Library Information: Eugene Public Library, 100 West 10th Avenue, Eugene, OR 97401; telephone (541)682-5450

Eugene: History

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Eugene: History

A site near present-day Eugene was settled in 1846 by Eugene F. Skinner at the base of a mountain peak called Yapo-ah by the Calapooya tribe. The settlement was named Skinner's, and in 1852 a townsite was laid out by Skinner and Judge D. M. Risdon, who erected the first house within the corporate limits. Attempts to establish the town were foiled by heavy rains, however, and it was given the nickname "Skinner's Mudhole." The settlers moved to higher ground, construction succeeded, and in 1853 the town, taking its founder's given name, was chosen as the seat of newly created Lane County. The first post office in the region was built there the same year; Eugene was incorporated in 1864. The University of Oregon was established in Eugene in 1876.

Agriculture, milling, and transportation were the principal industries during Eugene's early years. A steady steamship trade was conducted between the town and Portland from the late 1850s until 1871, when construction of the Oregon & California Railroad brought an end to water transportation. By the end of the Civil War Eugene's population had reached 1,200 residents and the city was becoming highly industrialized. With lumbering as a principal industry, the city was the site of sawmills, shingle mills, planing mills, and box factories. Cottonwood and balm trees indigenous to the area were used to produce excelsior. Mining was also an important part of the economy. Agriculture continued to expand; wheat had been the major crop, and many farmers soon turned to fruit growing and dairy farming as well. Creameries, canneries, and flour mills were built for the processing of agricultural products. A major influence on the city as a cultural and education center began in 1872, when the University of Oregon was founded.

Along with industrial development, however, Eugene maintained a livable environment for its residents. By the 1940s the city was noted for its parklike appearance: comfortable, well-kept homes were set in landscaped lawns and shade trees lined the streets. Business districts occupied impressive brick and concrete buildings. With a major university, the city had also become the cultural center for the region. Eugene's population expanded steadily throughout the first half of the twentieth century, reaching nearly 51,000 people in 1967. By 1980, the population had nearly doubled. A slowdown in the timber industry during the early 1980s halted expansion.

Eugene is thriving in the mid 2000s. The city continues to be a lumber and wood-products center, where a high percentage of the nation's plywood is produced. A growing vineyard and wine industry is flourishing. It is also an increasingly important hub for Oregon high tech businesses and industries. With retail, industrial, educational, and professional institutions and enterprises serving a metropolitan population of more than 300,000 people, Eugene is the fourth largest market in the Pacific Northwest.

Historical Information: Lane County Museum Library Archives, 740 West Thirteenth Avenue, Eugene, OR 97402; telephone (541)687-4239

Eugene: Population Profile

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Eugene: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 275,000

1990: 282,912

2000: 322,959

Percent change, 19902000: 14.2%

U.S. rank in 1980: 115th

U.S. rank in 1990: 119th

U.S. rank in 2000: 123rd

City Residents

1980: 105,624

1990: 112,733

2000: 137,893

2003 estimate: 142,185

Percent change, 19902000: 21.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 151st

U.S. rank in 1990: 159th (State rank: 2nd)

U.S. rank in 2000: 160th (State rank: 2nd)

Density: 3,403.2 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 121,546

Black or African American: 1,729

American Indian and Alaskan Native: 1,281

Asian: 4,916

Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander: 294

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 6,843

Other: 3,003

Percent of residents born in state: 40.8% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 7,367

Population 5 to 9 years old: 7,550

Population 10 to 14 years old: 8,029

Population 15 to 19 years old: 11,585

Population 20 to 24 years old: 17,390

Population 25 to 34 years old: 20,591

Population 35 to 44 years old: 18,656

Population 45 to 54 years old: 20,184

Population 55 to 59 years old: 5,864

Population 60 to 64 years old: 4,020

Population 65 to 74 years old: 7,252

Population 75 to 84 years old: 6,677

Population 85 years and over: 2,728

Median age: 33.0 years

Births (2003)

Total number: 3,754

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 2,715 (of which, 30 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $21,315

Median household income: $35,850

Total households: 57,996

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 7,952

$10,000 to $14,999: 4,257

$15,000 to $24,999: 8,267

$25,000 to $34,999: 7,882

$35,000 to $49,999: 9,681

$50,000 to $74,999: 9,698

$75,000 to $99,999: 4,673

$100,000 to $149,999: 3,423

$150,000 to $199,999: 961

$200,000 or more: 1,202

Percent of families below poverty level: 8.7% (25.5% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 9,382


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Eugene: Introduction
Eugene: Geography and Climate
Eugene: History
Eugene: Population Profile
Eugene: Municipal Government
Eugene: Economy
Eugene: Education and Research
Eugene: Health Care
Eugene: Recreation
Eugene: Convention Facilities
Eugene: Transportation
Eugene: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1846 (incorporated, 1862)

Head Official: Mayor Kitty Piercy (D) (since 2005)

City Population

1980: 105,624

1990: 112,733

2000: 137,893

2003 estimate: 142,185

Percent change, 19902000: 21.1%

U.S. rank in 1980: 151st

U.S. rank in 1990: 159th (2nd in State)

U.S. rank in 2000: 160th (2nd in State)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 275,000

1990: 282,912

2000: 322,959

Percent change, 19902000: 14.2%

U.S. rank in 1980: 115th

U.S. rank in 1990: 119th

U.S. rank in 2000: 123rd

Area: 41.0 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 369 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 52.1° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 50.90 inches

Major Economic Sectors: Services, trade, government, agriculture

Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (February 2005)

Per Capita Income: $21,315 (1999)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 9,382

Major Colleges and Universities: University of Oregon, Lane Community College, Northwest Christian College, Gutenberg College, Eugene Bible College

Daily Newspaper: The Register-Guard

Eugene: Communications

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Eugene: Communications

Newspaper and Magazines

Eugene is served by one daily morning newspaper, The Register-Guard (Oregon's second-largest daily), Eugene Weekly, a Thursday paper presenting arts and entertainment information along with news, and by several smaller neighborhood and special-interest weekly newspapers. The University of Oregon publishes the Oregon Daily Emerald. Magazines published in Eugene include Skipping Stones, an international, multicultural magazine for children; Alternatives, an environmental and political quarterly, Oregon Voice, a general interest magazine by students from the University of Oregon, and several scholarly journals.

Television and Radio

Three television stations broadcasting from Eugene offer ABC and CBS, and commercial/religious programming. Five AM and eight FM radio stations broadcast music, information, Christian and sports programs from Eugene, and many other stations are received from other communities in the metropolitan area.

Media Information: The Register-Guard, 3500 Chad Drive, PO Box 10188, Eugene, OR 97440-2188; telephone (541)485-1234

Eugene Online

City of Eugene home page. Available

Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County Oregon. Available

Eugene Area Chamber of Commerce. Available

Eugene Public Library. Available

Eugene School District 4J. Available

Lane Metro Partnership. Available

Oregon Economic Development Department. Available

The Register-Guard. Available

Eugene: Health Care

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Eugene: Health Care

Two major hospitals serve Eugene. The largest is Sacred Heart General Hospital, with 432 beds and 57 intensive care units. The largest hospital between Portland and San Francisco, it is a general-care facility that features an intensive-care newborn unit, a cancer care unit, a state-of-the-art heart center, and orthopedics and rehabilitation services. The McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center is a full-care hospital and Level III Trauma Center containing 114 beds and 13 mother/newborn units; it offers short-stay surgery and home care services. Nearly 500 physicians and surgeons serve the area, representing 46 fields and 12 surgical specialties. Traditional and alternative physical and mental health care services are offered at area clinics.

Health Care Information: Sacred Heart Medical Center, 1255 Hilyard St., Eugene, OR 97401-3718; telephone (541) 686-7300. McKenzie-Willamette Medical Center, 1460 G Street, Springfield, OR 97477; telephone (541) 726-4400

Eugene: Convention Facilities

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Eugene: Convention Facilities

The Lane County Convention Center/Fairgrounds in Eugene offers a convention center, an equestrian and livestock pavilion, a state-of-the-art ice arena, 2,500 parking spaces, and full catering service. Other Eugene venues include the City Conference Center, the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, the Florence Events Center in Florence, Oregon, the Valley River Inn and Convention Center, and the McKenzie River Conference Center. In addition, there are numerous hotels, motels, resorts, lodges, and conference facilities throughout Lane County, including the Hilton Eugene & Conference Center, one of the largest convention centers between San Francisco and Portland. It offers 30,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space ranging from intimate boardrooms to convention halls and ballrooms. The Eugene/Springfield metropolitan area offers approximately 3,500 sleeping rooms.

Convention Information: Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County Oregon, 754 Olive St., Eugene OR 97401; telephone (541)484-5307; toll-free (800)547-5445; fax (541)343-6335; email [email protected]

Eugene: Geography and Climate

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Eugene: Geography and Climate

Eugene is located in the center of western Oregon, about 100 miles south of Portland and halfway between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains in the broad Willamette River valley. Temperatures are usually moderate throughout the year, with most rainfall occurring from October to May. Winters are warmed by prevailing winds from the southwest, and summers are kept mild and dry by cooling northwestern winds.

Area: 41.0 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 369 feet above sea level

Average Temperatures: January, 39.8° F; August, 66.4° F; annual average, 52.1° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 50.90 inches

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