Irrigon City Council Meeting
October 20, 2015 – 6.00 PM
Irrigon City Hall – 500 NE Main Avenue
- Call to Order/Pledge/ Roll Call
Meeting called to order at 6:06 pm.
Council members present: Sam Heath, Ken Matlack, Michelle Hagen, Martin Brown, Daren Strong, Margaret Anderson, and Christine Sorenson was by phone.
Staff present: City Manager Aaron Palmquist, City Clerk Jessi Hoffman and Public Works Director Keith White.
Audience: Tamara Reid, Wayne Huwe, Barb Huwe, and Jim (Roland) Ruhe.
- Mayor’s Comments
Mayor Heath stated that she would like to comment on last month’s City Council Meeting and the difficulty she had making a clear distinctive determination in an actual or potential conflict of interest. Heath stated that each of the Council members have been given a copy of the analysis from the Oregon Ethics Commission and what the law states. With Councilor Matlack’s permission she asked to forward that to the City Manager. Councilor Matlack asked that Heath promptly forward the analysis from the Oregon Ethics Commission to each of the Councilors. Heath stated this provides the City Manager, myself, and the Council with a clearer understanding and clarification. Simply put, she state she went a little overboard on trying to protect the City and Councilor Matlack thus unintentionally leaving Councilor Matlack with the impression that she was putting him in a bad light. Heath stated that she would like to take a moment to apologize openly on record although she has done so over the phone to Councilor Matlack in the same week this occurred.
Heath also stated that she would like to acknowledge each of you that have taken an oath to sit on Irrigon’s City Council. You have agreed to abide by laws, the charter, codes, and policies of our City. You have a very important undertaking. We represent those that we serve in this capacity and it should be our first and primary perspective when making decisions in the best interest of the City. Heath said that our views will not always agree but while we serve our public, we must remain vigilant in our decision making when keeping to that representation.
Mayor Heath was very happy to report the positive feedback from the members of our community, committees, and staff regarding the Oregon Trail Library here in Irrigon. Heath said people are working together again and smiling.
Heath noted that The Oregon Mayor’s Association is launching its annual “If I Were Mayor, I would…” student contest for the 2015-16 school year. I have asked City Manager Palmquist to circulate the information.
Heath said Representative Greg Smith stopped in September 22nd to visit and talk about the needs and projects Irrigon has on the horizon. He expressed ways in which he might be able to help Irrigon meet those needs. We look forward to keeping that communication going.
Lastly Mayor Heath stated I am sure you have noticed in your packet Irrigon’s failure to comply with the nitrate/nitrogen limitation of 10mg/l prior to discharge to the rapid infiltration beds. We have received DEQ’s Pre-Enforcement Notice. Our Biolac system was designed with the expectation our City would have an increase in population each year thus adding to the system solids it needs to effectively operate. That has not happened so now the City must come up with an alternative way of keeping this within the permit from DEQ. Heath stated that she believed that City Manager Palmquist mentioned that in 2020 the control number is to drop again to 7mg/l. This pre-enforcement notification comes at a critical time as Palmquist was wrapping up the City’s application to receive grant funding to put together a plan to tackle the next phase of the sewer system project. He should find out in November if we are approved or not.
- Consent Agenda (The Consent Agenda allows the Council to approve all items together without discussion or individual motions. Councilors can request an item be removed for later in the meeting and discussion)
a. Approval of Minutes – September 15, 2015
b. Staff Reports and Staff Updates
c. Accounts Payable
d. Morrow County Sheriff Report
Mayor Heath stated that the process allows the Council to approve all items together without discussion or with item removed, discussed, and voted on separately. Heath asked the Council if anyone sees any items to be removed?
Councilor Sorenson made the motion to approve the consent agenda as is. Councilor Anderson seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- Public Comment – Maximum 3 minutes/person. Maximum 30 minutes allotted time for public comments. This is provided for individuals wishing to address the Council, at their discretion. Sign-up on the clipboard required.
Barb Huwe reported how much excitement and support there was at the last weekend book sale at the Irrigon library. She stated that she just wanted to say thank you to the City, Council, and Employee’s because the Library is back on track and the Grand opening will be November 13, 2015. Barb also said that the Library has new hours and will be the same at all of the OTLD libraries. She also mentioned that the library has a public fax and copy machine and free eBooks.
- Public Hearing – Opt Out Medical and Recreational Marijuana
Mayor Heath stated that this is in regards to the proposed Ordinance No. 237-15 and the City Council may Opt Out-Option prohibiting the operation of medical marijuana processing sites, medical marijuana dispensaries, retail marijuana producers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers. City Manager Palmquist reminded us that opting out does not limit nor restrict the permitted uses of either the medical or recreational use. The Opt-Out Option is not a land use decision as this has already been addressed. At this time we will have a first read from City Manager Palmquist
City Manager Palmquist gave a first read by title for Ordinance No. 237-15.
Public Hearing opened at 6:23 pm
Heath stated that we will first hear from all those “in favor” of the Opt-Out Option. Please make sure you are signed in, state your name as you approach the mic to address the Council.
Barb Huwe states that she not so much has a ya or na, but a question. Barb asked if the Council Opt-Out how long would the opt-out last before it can be resented if there was revenue to be made?
City Manager Palmquist stated that yes it can be revisited in the future it is not a permanent thing.
Mayor Heath asked if there were any “opposed” to The Opt-Out Option. Again, Make sure you are signed in, state your name as you approach the mic to address the Council.
Roland Ruhe stated to the Council that the marijuana industry is not the same as yester year and there is a lot of confusion and a lot of pre-set determinations as where this industry is going. Ruhe stated that he recognizes the land use Ordinance and that there isn’t a suitable place in City limits. He also gave a back ground history of himself to the Council such as he is the first licensed dispensary in Oregon. Ruhe also talked about the twenty-five percent tax that is also taken off the top of sales and that goes back to the State Revenue. Ruhe also stated that he is not in it to make money but rather he is in it on the medical side of things. He has cancer, epileptic, and pain management patients and that he works closely with their physicians. Ruhe stated many examples to the Council on the benefits of medical marijuana and some of the ways that his clients have benefited. Ruhe let the Council know he is more than happy to bring more information for the Council to view if they would like.
Public hearing closed at 6:42 pm
- *Truck Ordinance 222-14 Amended
Mayor Heath went over the changes that have been made to Truck Ordinance 222-14.
Manager Palmquist stated that at September’s Council meeting there were questions and concerns regarding the Fee Schedule and how do we put it on a rated scale. Palmquist said we are trying to stay away from that so that there is less confusion.
Councilor Matlack stated that he would like to see signs put up at either end of town stating no jake breaks. Matlack said it makes for less argument from truck drivers when they have been pulled over.
Councilor Matlack also said he said he is still trying to understand the pendility fees. Matlack stated that to try and make a uniform approach to assigning penalty’s that are consistent with change so every time the statue changes the ordinance penalty fee changes with state law. Matlack also asked why can’t we have a uniform penalty structure from an A, B, C, and D violation as consistent with state statue so that when anything changes everything changes?
Manager Palmquist stated for the record we are not the State of Oregon and we set our own penalties and Council has done that in the Fee Schedule by Titles.
Councilor Matlack asked so when there is a change how do you change the code?
Manager Palmquist stated that when you change the code the language still states that you would have the penalty in the Fee Resolution only and that is why we are changing the language and not putting it in to order as A,B,C, and D as Councilor Matlack is used to, being a law officer. Palmquist also stated that if you are going to copy the State you are giving up your authority as a governing body of the City.
Councilor Matlack stated that he thinks that when you have different amounts than the State it becomes confusing and he feels that the penalty fees should match the A, B, C, and D fees of the State and Matlack also advised the Council to take that under consideration.
Councilor Hagen stated that she agrees completely with Councilor Matlack that it should be on the same bail schedule as the State.
Manager Palmquist stated that as your City Manager I disagree. I think we need to discuss this when we look at the Fee Schedule.
Councilor Sorenson made the motion to accept Truck Ordinance 222-14 as presented with recommendation as presented. Councilor Brown seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- *Title 1 Irrigon Municipal Code Updates
Mayor Heath said to the Council that the memorandum from our City Manager was included in each of the packets for review. There are things outdated or that which is inaccurate currently in our Code Book. We will continue these section by section with some being more of a priority than others, but the goal is to resolve that which is not reflected in our code, needs updating, or an overhaul. The floor is open for discussion.
Councilor Matlack asked what exactly are you changing or getting rid of?
Manager Palmquist stated that it’s changing things that are not compatible and bringing things up to date.
Councilor Anderson made the motion to acknowledge and approve the ordinance and direct Staff to continue Code Clean-up in Title 1 Irrigon Municipal Code. Councilor Strong seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- *Contracting for Professional Services on Development Code, Title 10
Mayor Heath stated that as Manager Palmquist mentioned in his report there is a need to contract with professional services in order to clean up this development code. Heath said as you all know contracts have cost associations so Manager Palmquist would you review this before the Council?
Manager Palmquist stated to the Council that over a year ago we started the process and the bottom line up front is that we have budgeted to finish this process. Palmquist gave several examples of things that need to be changed so that it can be understood and clear to the public.
Council discussed back and forth several things that need to be changed and made clear for the public.
Barbe Huwe gave the Council some examples of development code issues that they are having because things are so out dated and confusing. Barb said it doesn’t make things very enticing for developers who want to come to Irrigon and build.
Councilor Anderson asked what it going to cost and asked what the amount again that is budgeted.
Manager Palmquist stated it could cost up to five thousand dollars.
Councilor Brown stated that basically this is the way we need to go in order to clean this up.
There were multiple comments from the public regarding developing code issues.
Councilor Strong made the motion to direct staff to move forward contracting the professional service of Ms. Leslie Hauer to clean up Title 10 of the Development Code. Councilor Hagen seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.
- Items for Future Council Meetings
- Animal Density and Groundwater Protection Hearing – November 2015
- Fiscal Challenges/Opportunities – November 2015
- Opt Out Medical and Recreational Marijuana Ordinance – November 2015
- Sewer Project Bid (Bypass) – November 2015
- Development Code Amendments – December 2015
- Strategic Planning and Goal Setting – November/December 2015
Councilor Anderson asked if the Council would agree to have a work session scheduled to hear more from Jim (Roland) Ruhe. Anderson states she would like to hear more information before the November meeting.
Councilor Hagen agreed with Councilor Anderson and would like to have more information.
The rest of the Council declined to have a work season scheduled.
Councilor Sorenson stated that this subject has been out on the plate for a while with ample time and anyone could have gotten more information and done research.
Councilor Brown asked what was the vote on this from the public? Did it overwhelmingly pass in this jurisdiction?
Councilor Anderson stated that it did not.
There was much deliberation between the Councilors and no work season will be scheduled.
Councilor Hagen moved to adjourn. Councilor Brown seconded the motion.
Next Regular Meeting Date – November 17, 2015
Meeting was adjourned at 8:32 pm