June 18, 2013 City Council Meeting Minutes



Irrigon City Council Meeting

June 18, 2013

6:00 PM

Irrigon City Hall

500 NE Main Avenue


1.        Call to Order/Roll Call

Mayor David Burns called the regular meeting to order at 6:01 p.m.

Council members present:  Christine Sorenson, Ken Matlack, David Burns, Kathy Simonis, Sam Heath, Joe Theisen and Michelle Hagen. All councilors were present.

Staff present: Gerald Breazeale, Aaron Palmquist and Amanda Slawson

Audience: Robert Hall, Elleanor Partridge, Richard Partridge, James Ray, John Garlitz, Patti Burres, Daren Strong, Colleen Neubert, Luke Maynard, Luan Dike, Karen Dike, Jeff Wise, Barb Huwe, Phillip Pringle and Lenn Greer

2.         Resignation of Harold Poeling from Planning Commission

A letter of resignation was received from Harold Poeling in regards to his position on the city’s planning commission. He thanked the continuing members of the city planning commission and staff for all the support during his tenure.

3.         Resignation of Kathy Simonis from City Council

A letter of resignation was also received from Kathy Simonis stating that she was resigning from the council effective June18th. Her letter also stated that, “It has been an interesting adventure serving on a city council. I have dedicated my life to public service, but never have I had the challenges this board faces monthly.  You have accomplished much.  Thank you for letting me participate in a portion of journey. So many dreams have been realized; so many more must be met.”

Mayor Burns presented Kathy with a plaque of appreciation for her service on the city council.

4.         Approval of Minutes – May 21, 2013*

Mayor Burns asked the council if there were any changes or additions to the minutes.

Councilor Sorenson requested that grammatical errors be corrected on pages 2 and 5.

It was moved by Councilor Simonis and seconded by Councilor Hagen to accept the minutes for May 21, 2013 council meeting with the requested corrections. Passed unanimously.

5.         Mayor’s Comments

The Mayor informed the council and audience that earlier in the month he and City Manager Gerald Breazeale traveled to Bend to present the Irrigon Peace Park plan.  Due to the city not having half of the projected cost in the bank, the funding committee would not consider the project.

The mayor reminded everyone of the retirement celebration for Jerry Breazeale on Saturday June 22, 2013 at 6:00 pm at the Stokes Landing Bed & Breakfast.  Lee Pritchard will be providing the entertainment.  Lee was a contestant for the television show American Idol. The Mayor also thanked John Garlitz of J-U-B Engineers and Bill Kuhn of Kuhn Law Offices for their financial contributions to the party.

The City ofIrrigonpreviously received a $16,000 grant to write an emergency plan for the city. The city needs to have a test run on that emergency plan. The mayor asked to have a test run of the plan done around a major toxic spill on Highway 730, within the city limits, before thanksgiving.

Councilor Simonis moved that Irrigon, between now and Thanksgiving, get together to focus on having a mach emergency and test the emergency protocol that has been established. Councilor Heath seconded the motion.

Councilor Matlack asked if the test run would be a table top exercise. Mayor Burns stated that he wanted it to be in the street with all resources that are within the budget. Councilor Matlack explained that when a drill like this is done in the street with all resources it can be expensive. It was determined that the motion on the floor is not committing the council to a certain type of test run but simply setting a deadline.

City Manager Gerald Breazeale took vote and the motion passed with a unanimous vote.

6.         Correspondence

The City ofIrrigonhas received an invitation from the Morrow County Health District of the Irrigon Clinic open house at220 North Main Avenue in Irrigon, Oregon. The celebration will be Monday, June 24, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. with ribbon cutting at 5:30 p.m.

Public Hearing opened at 6:19 p.m.

7.         Resolution No. 13-06, A Resolution Declaring the City’s Election to Receive State Revenues

City Manager Gerald Breazeale explained that the State of Oregon requires cities to annually pass a resolution requesting state revenue sharing money and that a public hearing be held before the budget committee and another before the city council in order to receive the funding.

8.         Resolution No. 13-07, Adopting the 2013-2014 Budget, Making Appropriations, Imposing the Tax and Categorizing the Tax

City Manager Gerald Breazeale explained that this resolution adopts the budget as approved by the budget committee, gives the spending authority by making appropriations, and imposes the property taxes to be assessed.

Lenn Greer stated that he lives in Irrigon and has some current concerns on our cost with the taxes; they are getting out of hand, really crazy.  He is not sure if it is due to mismanagement. He is busy going to work and doing other things in the community and he doesn’t have time to go to every meeting. That’s why the council is here. The council should be investing their time to figure out ways to reduce the costs. It is getting ridiculous. It’s crazy to pay over $100 a month for water and sewer. He just talked to his sister in Elgin and she pays $40. It’s crazy. Is it mismanagement? What is it? The money needs to stop. Figure out a way. Maybe rent this building and put staff in a bus. He is not the only person in town getting frustrated. The council needs to figure it out and no new projects, said he. It is getting to costly to live in Irrigon. People can not afford to water their lawn in the summer time. He is paying $150 a month just to keep his grass green and make his community look good.

9.         Resolution No. 13-08, A Resolution Authorizing the Morrow County Treasurer to Invest Funds

This resolution is required in order for the Morrow County Treasurer to hold the city funds in an interest bearing account.

No other public comment. The Mayor closed the public hearing.

Public Hearing closed at 6:28 p.m.

Council Action

10.       Resolution No. 13-06, A Resolution Declaring the City’s Election to Receive State Revenues*

Councilor Simonis moved to approve Resolution 13-06 declaring the city’s election to receive state revenues for the 2013-2014 year. Councilor Theisen seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

11.       Resolution No. 13-07, Adopting the 2013-2014 Budget, Making Appropriations, Imposing the Tax and Categorizing the Tax*

Councilor Simonis moved to approve Resolution 13-07 adopting the 2013-2014 budget, making appropriations, imposing and categorizing the tax. Councilor Hagen seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

12.       Resolution No. 13-08, A Resolution Authorizing the Morrow County Treasurer to Invest Funds*

Councilor Simonis moved to approve Resolution 13-08 authorizing the Morrow County Treasurer to invest funds belonging to the City of Irrigon. Councilor Matlack seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

13.       Resolution No. 13-09, A Resolution to Establish Authorized Signers for the City of Irrigon’s Various Bank and Investment Accounts

Resolution No. 13-09 establishes that all city councilors and the city manager are authorized to sign for the city on all bank and investment accounts. 

Councilor Hage nmoved to approve Resolution 13-09 establishing authorized signers for the City of Irrigon’s various bank and investment accounts. Councilor Theisen seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

14.       Septic Conversion Project 2011

John Garlitz of J-U-B Engineers updated the council that the city’s waterline for Thirteenth Street and Washington has been delivered to the city. J-U-B is also working on the parking lot off Division Street and Main Avenue. City comments have been received and are being worked into the final design.

The only things remaining on the septic conversion project is the septic tank abandonment that Wesley Wise Excavating is performing.  The final walk through with the punch list was on the 13th and 14th of June. The contract documents require that each property owner provides written acceptance.

There are two items to the Septic Conversion project needing addressed: contract time and electrical disconnections. Tapani is requesting additional time to complete the project for the septic tank abandonment. Out of the 130 homes in the project, approximately 25 homes have a lift station with pump assemblies. The pumps have been removed but contract documents do not state disconnect from the electrical panel or removal of alarms on individual homes. The contractor has given a price of approximately $250 per home.

John Garlitz explained that change order no. 6 increases the construction contract by $6,250 for the disconnection from the electrical panels and removal of the alarm boxes, as well as extend the contract time by 11 days.

Councilor Theisen wanted Tapani Underground to be reminded that they have already been given an extension and he is disappointed that they are requesting another extension.

John Garlitz explained that if change order no. 6 is not approved the removal of the electrical panels will need to be included in the next phase, which he is sure would be at an increased cost to the city. This is not work that city staff can do because a state certified electrician is required.

Councilor Matlack also stated that he is disappointed that the project has not been completed on time.  As a professional, a company should do whatever it takes to get the job done on time.

Councilor Theisen moved to approve change order no. 6 increasing Tapani’s contract amount by $6,250 and extending the contract time by 11 days. Councilor Sorenson seconded the motion. The motion was passed by a unanimous vote.

15.       Source Water Protection Project

City Manager Gerald Breazeale updated the council of lined up meetings in regards to this project that he and the new city manager Aaron Palmquist will be  jointly participating in them.

16.       LUBGWMA – Report and Discussion     

The Irrigated Agriculture Subcommittee has come up with a proposed plan for using and monitoring fertilizer in the ground water management area, all irrigating growers are currently not part of the subcommittee. There is discussion centered on how to outreach growers which may not be in the loop.

17.       Local Reuse Authority of the Umatilla Army Depot (LRA)

City Manager Gerald Breazeale stated that he has nothing new to report on the LRA.

18.       Janitorial Service Contract Approval*

The city has a contract withJ & V Janitorial Services for janitorial services at the city hall. The services provided by J & V Janitorialservices have been pretty good in the past but there have been some issues not resolved.  The contract is also from 2007 and staff felt it was time to issue a call for proposals.

A call for proposals was issued on May 8, 2013 with the closing date of May 27, 2013.  Two proposals were received by the May 27th deadline, one being from Hermiston Cleaning Services in the amount of $675 per month and the other from Royer’s Janitorial in the amount of $525 per month. J & V Janitorial Services did submit a proposal but was not considered because it was submitted after the deadline. Staff recommended that the contract for janitorial services be awarded to Royer’s Janitorial for $525 per month

Councilor Simonis moved to accept the bid from Royal’s Janitorial in the amount of $525. Councilor Sorenson seconded the motion.

After a brief discussion, an amendment was made to the motion to check the references given before awarding the contract for janitorial services.  The amendment passed with a unanimous vote.

The original motion with amendments was passed by the council with 5 yes, 1 no (Heath)

19.       Ratify City Manager Contract – Aaron Palmquist*

Aaron Palmquist has accepted and signed the city manager contract proposed by city council. Councilor Sorenson moved to ratify the city manager contract with Aaron Palmquist. Councilor Theisen seconded the motion.  The motion was passed with a unanimous vote.

20.       Issue Oath of Office – Aaron Palmquist, City Manager

Mayor Burns Administrated the Oath of Office to Aaron Palmquist.

21.       Comments from Citizens not on the Agenda

Councilor Hagen informed the city council and staff that she will be out of town for various dates.  She will be 6 hours away from Irrigon and will not be available.

Elleanor Partridge asked the new city manager Aaron Palmquist to come and join the seniors at the senior center. Their meetings are every Monday 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.

Barb Huwe stated that she hopes the council really studied the 2013-2014 budget thoroughly before approving it. Citizens entrust the city council to do our business within the city and hope that you did not just open and approve it without studying it thoroughly.

Barb Huwe also stated that she agreed with Councilor Matlack in regards to the request for an extension on the septic project. When a contractor asks for a change order, it is serious business.

22.      Report from Morrow County Sheriff

Sherriff Matlack explained that the sheriff department is short two positions, but have put in 430.25 hours of patrol hours and 97 hours of code hours in Irrigon. The contract between the city and sheriff department is for 80 patrol hours and 80 code hours.

Sheriff Matlack updated the council that things are going well in Irrigon.  There has been less graffiti in Irrigon than in the surrounding areas. Code enforcement Officer Colleen Neubert has been working on potential fire hazards and nuisance issues within the city.

23.       Staff Reports

Gerald Breazeale explained that Public Works Director Keith White was currently unavailable, but his report is in the packet. His report explained residents are requesting that graveled roads be watered once a week. Unfortunately city staff is not able to water streets that often. The cost would be somewhere around $350 per week. Also explained in his report is that total Nitrogen removal was 1.35 mg/l for May 2013, well below what is required by the city’s permit.

The finance officer staff report stated that the water sold in May 2013 was 443,474 cubic feet more than in May 2012.

Gerald Breazeale thanked the city council for all the work they have done. It’s a tough job that goes unappreciated.

Councilor Hagen moved to accept all staff reports. Councilor Matlack seconded the motion.  The motion was passed with a unanimous vote.

22.      Accounts Payable*

Councilor Hagen moved to pay the payables in the amount of $213,105.53.  Councilor Theisen seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

25.       Additional Discussion

Code enforcement officer Colleen Neubert updated  the council that there are two letters that need to go out informing property owners that the overgrown weeds on their lots are considered a fire hazard and need to be taken care of.

Councilor Simonis told of how 13 years ago, when she came into Irrigon and was awakened by the smell of sewer.  Then within the first year she had to have a water purifier installed on her house because of the nitrates. Now there is no smell of sewer and the city has great drinking water. The city council has done a good job.

James Ray stated that he has lived in Irrigon approximately 19 years and he too thought the sewer smells that came from the old sewer ponds on the outside of town were unpleasant. He feels that the city has done a good job by building the wastewater treatment plant and converting the sewer system as well as all the water improvements that have been accomplished.

Lenn Greer stated that he thought a lot of good things have been done in the city. Jerry has done a good job. Growth is good but too much growth is not good.  He asked everyone to look at all the empty buildings in town. The city needs to nickel and dime it, get the debt paid down.

Councilor Sorenson responded to Lenn Greer’s comments. She stated she could personally attest that this city was responsible for a lot of business lost where she was in business, by the city imposed moratorium on the city for not having a proper sewer system. In her estimation the council needs to encourage businesses because commercial entities are going to pay more taxes then the people living in little houses on little pieces of land. Citizens can do a lot by encouraging businesses by supporting them.

Councilor Theisen informed the audience of a fairly recent report done going back 8 or 9 years that lists projects completed and how the projects were funded. This report is available to public. The amount of grant funding received for the projects is quite impressive.  It doesn’t make the pain of the current rates any better but it does show that without having received grant funding, rates could have been worse.

City Manager Aaron Palmquist stated that it is going to be a little slower in the future with the economic times we live in.  Jerry has done a superb job with managing the city.  The city is very healthy. The document referred to by Councilor Theisen is on the website. At least 85% of the resources used in the projects over the past ten years are grant dollars. Another majority of the resources used to fund the projects were in kind contributions, people donating their time. He challenged the public to go look at the document. There will be progress going forward. It won’t be as fast. We will take a conservative effort.

City Manager Aaron Palmquist also stated that the Irrigon Chamber of Commerce needs assistance. Bringing in business is not the city’s job, even though we are a member. It takes a team effort to build a community.

Councilor Simonis moved to adjourn the meeting. Councilor Hagen seconded the motion. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.

Meeting adjourned at 7:36 pm.

Minutes were prepared by:  Amanda Slawson



        SIGNED:                                                           ATTEST:


 David Burns, Mayor                                     Aaron L. Palmquist, City Manager







Next Regular Meeting Date – July 16, 2013


If you would like to attend and need assistance, please phoneIrrigonCity Hallat 1.541.922.3047 or TTY relay 1.800.735.2900

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