City of Hood River pursues May Drive annexation plan

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

March 22, 2006

The Hood River City Council pulled six properties out of a contested annexation on Monday to appease citizens.

“I think the council heard the concerns of those people who voiced an objection about coming into the city. We hope they are happy with this decision,” said Bob Francis, city manager.

The elected body decided at the special meeting March 20 to incorporate 33 instead of 38.46 acres in and around the Willow Ponds subdivision to the south of May Drive. At noon today the second and final reading will be given to the ordinance making that annexation official. The city anticipates gaining about $52,859 more in annual revenue by folding the property into its jurisdiction. In addition, a one-time income of $205,859 could be generated by system development charges and water and sewer hookups. Officials also expect the city to gain about $75,293 yearly from water service and franchise fees.

However, even if citizens are pleased by the city’s action, the Special Districts Coalition is not.

Mark Beam, manager of Ice Fountain, said meetings will be held by his agency and the coalition this week to determine the next course of action. He declined further comment until Ice Fountain, Farmers Irrigation District and West Side Fire District have made a decision.

At a late February council meeting, Beam registered several protests about the annexation. He disagreed that it would cost the city only $87,000 to purchase Ice Fountain’s infrastructure in that vicinity. He also said the city would have to shoulder a portion of the 12 years remaining on a $3.8 million bond repayment for installation of the water system.

Beam asserted that the city had breached its contract with the coalition by creating a duplication of services. He believed the city was trying to circumvent raising the ire of Rocky Ridge residents by not attempting to annex those lands — at least until they were surrounded. But, he said the end reult was that Ice Fountain would still have to serve that area and residents would be forced to pay for two water lines.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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