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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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge