City, Ice Fountain District settle annexation dispute

By RAELYNN RICARTE

News staff writer

February 3, 2007

The City of Hood River and Ice Fountain Water District have reached a settlement on the divisive issue of “patchwork” annexation.

The city has agreed to no longer use its ownership of roadways to reach beyond some parcels to incorporate others. Instead, properties folded into the city limits must now be adjacent to tracts already within the municipality’s jurisdiction.

In addition, the city has purchased water lines to the Willow Ponds subdivision, which is located south of May Drive. The cost for the infrastructure and a share of Ice Fountain’s debt service was $101,394.

The municipality has also agreed to take over “islands” left within the annexation grid where services are being duplicated.

“The city heard Ice Fountain’s concerns loud and clear and decided we needed to work together here,” said Bob Francis, city manager. “I think this is good for everyone.”

Mark Beam, manager of Ice Fountain, is also pleased with the settlement. The water service provider entered into arbitration with the city last spring after contesting the annexation of the 33-acre subdivision.

At issue was the city’s plan to extend water lines more than 650 feet to the property of Pasquale Barone. The housing tract between Rocky and Frankton roads was divided into 58 lots, which at that time were undeveloped. The annexation left Rocky Ridge Court, served by Ice Fountain, surrounded by city property. And that meant water lines under two separate jurisdictions would be laid in the same area.

Ice Fountain contended that, with that move, the city had breached its Intergovernmental Agreement. The IGA, signed in 2005, required that outstanding issues be resolved before an annexation took place.

Last March, city officials believed the annexation would become unaffordable if it waited any longer. Since the property owned by Barone was undeveloped, the payoff to Ice Fountain — based on the value of the land — would be much lower.

“We feel very good about this new agreement,” said Beam. “It’s strong and it’s really tightened up the language. This agreement is going to make the city annexation policy go in a direction that’s more responsible and better for the water district.”

Last year, the city paid Ice Fountain $127,578 for infrastructure tied to annexations. The city’s new policy is to require that any landowner signing up for sewer services also agree to come under municipal jurisdiction.

IGAs similar to that between the city and Ice Fountain were also signed with Farmers Irrigation District and West Side Fire District.

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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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