Irrigon City Council Meeting
October 15, 2013 – 6:00 PM
Irrigon City Hall – 500 NE Main Avenue
1. Call to Order and Roll Call
Mayor Pro Tem Sam Heath called the meeting to order at 6:03 p.m.
Council members present: Christine Sorenson, Sam Heath, Joe Theisen, Margaret Anderson and Michelle Hagen. Ken Matlack had excused absence.
Staff present: City Manager Aaron Palmquist, City Clerk Penny Moore, Public Works Director Keith White and Finance Officer Amanda Slawson.
Audience: John Garlitz, Bill Kelly, Warren Prouty, Mike Poe, Janet Cooley, Len Greer.
Mayor Pro Tem Heath asked everyone to stand for the Pledge of Allegiance.
2. Mayor’s Comments
Mayor Pro Tem Heath took a moment to remember Elleanor Partridge as her passing in late September. Many worked alongside her in the community on various projects. Mayor Pro Tem stated that she came to know her better serving with her on the council; very full of life and energy, she will be greatly missed.
In the council packets was a copy of “The City Council’s Fiduciary Duty” by Josh Kam, which came from the League of Oregon Cities (LOC) publication. Mayor Pro Tem Heath noted that she found it to be very helpful and encouraged everyone to read it.
Mayor Pro Tem noted that the newly organized Irrigon Chamber of Commerce kicked off with a luncheon on October 9, 2013. President Phyllis Danielson energized the room with the news of the Chamber’s regrouping and further energizing and vision came from Secretary Julie Dick and guest speaker City Manager Aaron Palmquist.
The Chamber’s website is www.IrrigonChamber.com, check it out for calendar updates and events.
Mayor Pro Tem Heath mentioned to the council that Manager Palmquist is working on getting email addresses for improved accessibility to a site to check email for city correspondence.
3. *Consent Agenda
It was moved by Councilor Sorenson and seconded by Councilor Anderson to approve the Consent Agenda with all items as presented.
a. Approval of Minutes – September 17, 2013
b. Staff Reports
i. Public Works
ii. Finance Officer
iii. City Manager
c. Accounts Payable
e. Morrow County Sheriff Report
The motion carried unanimously.
Public Hearing opened at 6:08 p.m.
4. Ordinance No. 221-13; Regulating Recreational Vehicles
There was no discussion.
Public Hearing closed at 6:10 p.m.
5. *Ordinance No. 221-13; Regulating Recreational Vehicles
Ordinance 221-13 was offered tonight, with no vote and no discussion. Presented was an email from the City Attorney Bill Kuhn continuing to do research on the draft of the RV Park ordinance. Ordinance 221-13 will come back at the November council meeting.
6. LOC Update
Mayor Pro Tem Heath stated that there was great representation from all around the state at the LOC 88th annual Conference. Some topics presented were the growing population forecasting, fraud, social media and ethics.
Mayor Pro Tem Heath said that she felt very welcomed when meeting with participates at the conference.
Manager Palmquist noted that there is great training available for councilors and to think about future LOC conference opportunities.
7. TGM Grant Update
Manager Palmquist stated that the city is continuing to move forward. There will be a meeting at the Irrigon High School, November 6, 2013 on the Bike/Pedestrian project.
8. Open Letter to the Oregon Congressional Delegation
Recently, Congress has considered elimination of the tax-exempt status of essential purpose municipal bonds, which are used to pay for roads, bridges, schools, water treatment facilities and other vital infrastructure.
Manager Palmquist stated that the impact as an example the recently completed sewer conversation project at about 2.8% would have increased to 2.98%, for municipal bonds the city could be looking at a 6 to 8 percent interest rate on that money.
There were signature opportunities to be sent to the Oregon delegates for the council and any of the public to sign (registered voters). This will be sent back to the LOC and they will be attaching signatures on behalf of cities in Oregon, requesting Oregon delegates to push the House and the Senate to preserve the tax-exempt status of municipal bonds.
9. City Hall/Library Parking Lot and Sidewalk Projects – Updates
Manager Palmquist stated that the city has two projects; there is the Small Cities Allotments (SCA) grant for sidewalks and the parking lot from Friends of Irrigon Library (FOIL). The parking lot will be done in the spring; it’s too late to lay asphalt to this year. The sidewalks won’t be done this fall either if a contractor is not secured to perform work this fall.
10. *Fire Department Application Fees
Manager Palmquist stated that the Irrigon Rural Fire Protection District (IRFPD) is looking into new development and would need to do a replat and vacation for the alley. The application fees would be approximately $450. Staff recommends these fees be waived, minus the advertisement and mailing costs.
It was moved by Councilor Sorenson and seconded by Councilor Theisen to waive fees for a replat and vacation of the alley. The motion carried unanimously.
11. *West Extension Irrigation District (WEID)
City of Irrigon received a letter from West Extension Irrigation District stating that their files indicated no voter authorization on file. Mayor Pro Tem recommended the mayor and city manager be authorized for election purposes. Councilor Theisen suggested the city manager’s signature be primary, followed by the mayor’s signature in the absence of the city manager, as the alternate.
It was moved by Councilor Theisen and seconded by Councilor Sorenson for the city manager to be authorized to vote for the city and the mayor as an alternate. The motion carried unanimously.
12. Draft Audit Report
CPA Mike Poe presented a letter to the council stating audit changes and he said the audit went well. Mr. Poe went over the final draft audit report with the council.
In the debt covenants at year end the water fund reported restricted cash of $197,748 which is $3,148 less than required. Manager Palmquist stated that the $3,148 has been corrected in this fiscal year.
It was moved by Councilor Sorenson and seconded by Councilor Theisen to accept the audit report as presented. The motion carried unanimously.
13. Public Comment
There was no public comment.
14. Additional Discussion
Deputy Neubert commented on dogs at large, citizen concerns and citations served, since then the dogs have not been seen.
Manager Palmquist revealed some concerns and shared information showing the Morrow County website for tourism that the city council approved in April at a cost of $1,000. The website shows Escape to Morrow and when you click on Irrigon the page says “Internal Server Error”. Councilor Sorenson suggested sending a certified letter asking for a refund.
Janet Cooley stated that Barb Huwe had shoulder surgery and was home from the hospital.
Adjournment was a 7:03 p.m.
Next Regular Meeting Date – November 19, 2013
Sam Heath, Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Palmquist, City Manager