Thursday, December 28, 2006
By SUE RYAN
News staff writer
December 2, 2006
During its Nov. 27 meeting, the Cascade Locks City Council held two public hearings and approved a number of actions.
The actions included approving a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant with the state of Oregon. The city had applied for the funds to go toward building a new fire hall.
City Administrator Bob Willoughby explained the grant was a reimbursement program. If the city does not spend any of the money then the city is under no obligation to the state.
“But if we don’t do the contract, then there is no possibility of doing the fire hall. It goes away completely,” he said.
Councilors discussed the scenario if the sale of the McCoy property for $310,000 doesn’t go through. Tiffany Pruit was concerned if the cost of the fire hall project turned out to be more than the city could afford. Kerri Jo Osbourn said that was a possibility but also not certain that it would cost too much. She, Mayor Ralph Hesgard and Councilor Cindy Mitchell agreed the project could be scaled back if that occurs.
“Let’s see what we can do,” said Councilor Arni Kononen, who made the motion to approve it.
The council approved an intergovernmental agreement with Mid-Columbia Economic Development District to administer the grant. They also approved a contract with architect Art Larsen to provide services if requested for additional work on the fire hall’s construction.
The council held two public hearings. One dealt with the vacation of the public road crossing into the Windsong Subdivision site. The second was the new addressing plan for the town. Planner John Morgan explained the new system would number blocks in hundred-segments, going east and west on a grid system.
“There is a safety issue in having a lack of a grid system,” he said.
The evolution of the town’s numbering system ended up with some houses directly across the street from each other being separated by several hundreds of numbers. Only one homeowner spoke during the hearing and she mainly had questions about naming her road, which is a private drive.
As part of the re-naming, no city streets will be renamed but those private roads with at least three residences can submit names. The residents have to agree on the name. When the system is implemented, the private street signs will be in black and white while city signs will be in green.
Following the hearings, the council approved ordinance number O-112706-1 on the vacation of the public road, and ordinance number O-112706-2 on the address system.
During a work session, the city council heard from Waste Connections District Manager Erwin L. Swetnam. He explained a requested increase in garbage collection rates that could go into effect Jan. 1, 2007. He said that high fuel costs were part of the reason for the request.
“We’re up 25 percent on our costs from 2005 to 2006,” he said.
Swetnam said in 2005, the company paid an average $2.26 per gallon and in 2006 the price has been $2.82 per gallon. He said the rise has affected other petroleum-associated costs including bins and carts.
Waste Connections is proposing a 34-cent per can increase, a 33-cent per mini-can, and $1.55 per one-and-a-half size containers. The council will vote on the increase request at its Dec. 11 meeting.
The council also approved accepting a $625 grant from the Hood River Commission on Children and Families.
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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