Notes from the Council Chambers
City Receives Grant for Art
Pacific Power contributed a check for $3,500 to help cover the cost of new bronze’s on Main Street. These statues have been paid for by grants and out of the 1.75% of the transient room tax revenue (typically around $14,000/year) collected specifically for that purpose.
Badge Pinning and Swearing In of New Firefighters
We welcome Firefighter/Paramedics Jordan Tyer and Marc Proctor to the Pendleton Fire Department, along with seven new reserve firefighters, sworn in by Mayor Houk.
Deep North Fire Overview
Fire Chief Ciraulo gave the Council and overview of the Deep North Fire, where he commanded a 600+ person regional response team which included three other employees from the City of Pendleton. This opportunity not only gives staff experience working in a large incident command scenario, but also generates revenue for the City.
Old City Hall Abatement
City nuisance ordinance requires that the old city hall building be repaired within 12 months. City staff has worked very hard to assist the owners to obtain funding through local banks, and responding to their request for city financial assistance through the urban renewal district. The City has insisted that before we consider financial assistance we want to see a plan that shows they have the resources available to complete the project.
Since the fire happened about 15 months ago, the City also issued an abatement notice that requires them to address the problem, which is the first step in giving the City legal means to force some type of action. Having appealed this notice to the City Council, a hearing was held whereby the owners were given 2 weeks to bring back to the Council something definitive.
Ordinance 3898 Regulating Public Rights of Way
This ordinance amends our ROW ordinance outlining circumstances by which a utility company is required to obtain a permit to do work in the City ROW. In the past, most of the work utility companies performed was governed by the franchise agreements. This amendment gives the City more control by requiring certain activities to be reviewed by staff prior to the work being done.
Resolution 2668 Sale of Surplus Property
State law requires a public hearing before selling property. This resolution meets that obligation and is the first step in selling property we own off of Airport Way. Funds for this sale, $50,000, will go into the Community Development Fund to be used for economic development and/or industrial lands development.
Roofing Project Bids Awarded
Two roofing contracts were awarded by Council. The first was to replace the roof on the convention center and the second to replace the roof on the OWL building, on the airport tarmac.
The convention center roof was expected to cost $190,000 and was awarded for $135,000 and will be paid for out of room tax funds specifically designated for the maintenance/expansion of the convention center. Staff is working to identify priority maintenance projects for the remaining balance which will reduce the backlog of work needed to be done.
The OWL building is a city owned facility that was damaged several years ago and will be paid for out of state grant dollars to the UAS Test Range. This facility will house the range manager and control equipment which will enhance the services provided by the test range.
SW 13th Stairway
The City Council visited the proposed pathway which was presented to them as an alternative to replacing the decayed stairway, which was estimated to cost around $200,000 to replace. The pathway is on an easement where a sewer line was constructed, and is in need of maintenance. Council approved a brush clearing/graveling project to open up the easement, but requested Councilor Brown meet with engineers to discuss other alternatives to removing the stairway.
At the annual League of Oregon Cities Conference two weeks ago, the City of Pendleton received a Silver award from City County Insurance Services for its low injury rate in the 2015-16 year, coming in second only to the City of Lebanon who had no injuries.
I have always believed that a premier City places the safety of its employees as priority. It is not acceptable that we place the safety of ourselves and our coworkers anything less. Those who commit themselves to serving on our safety committees and those who advocate every day for a safe workplace are to be commended for this award.
Robb Corbett, City Manager