Notes from the Council Chambers
September 20, 2016
Pendleton Development Commission (Governing Body of the Urban Renewal District)
Old City Hall Update
Staff gave the PDC an update on the prospect of the old city hall building being repaired. For over a year, staff have worked to assist the owners to develop an application to make a bank loan application. The building was uninsured and the owner has insisted he wants to restore it. They have sought money from the PDC to pay for a roof and windows to keep the weather out. The PDC has consistently told them that before it invests money into the building it would want to see a plan that gives assurances that the project would be completed. After meeting with a few banks, the owners have been unable to obtain financing. Without feasibility for reconstruction at this time, because the building as it stands represents a danger, the City is required to enforce its nuisance abatement ordinance which will require the owners to address the property condition.
Downtown Parking Lots
The PDC approved paving two city owned lots: Crabby’s and JC Penney. PDC voted to award the contracts but would only pay for 2/3rd’s of the cost which represents the cost estimate they approved, after the bids came in 50% higher.
SW 13th Stairway
Several months ago the stairway on SW 13th St. was closed due to safety concerns related to deterioration. Cost estimates came in around $200,000. Staff recommended to the Council that we convert an existing utility right of way into a pedestrian trail and remove the stairs. The trail would start at the top of the hill where the stairways start, and run east to SW 12th. After discussion, Council postponed the decision until they were able to visit the site.
Ordinance 3898 – Regulating Public Rights of Way
The City Attorney’s office has proposed an amendment to Ordinance 3557 to incorporate language that protects “the City and citizens from unreasonable unsafe, inconvenient, unsightly and otherwise undesirable uses of the publics rights of way”. The second reading and public hearing will occur at the October 4 Council meeting.
Several months ago the City adopted a Communications Plan in an effort to identify ways to improve communications. I have started a Twitter Account that I use for city purposes. If you have twitter account, please follow mine.
The City issued a monthly newsletter this month. Initial response has been encouraging. Please have your friends and family “subscribe” by emailing either Donna or myself.
Robb Corbett, City Manager