Vernonia City News

At the February 4, 2013 City Council Meeting:

Council Authorizes Spending for Park Development-Council authorized the City Administrator to sign Agreement LGP0252-1 Spencer Park Development which will allow the City to draw funds from the grant for proposed improvements that will be part of the park replacement project at the former school campus.  The agreement for funds is for $175,432 and will be used to install a restroom facility and picnic shelter in conjunction with the Vernonia School District replacement park construction process.

City Administrator Updates Council on Projects-City Administrator Bill Haack updated Council on several ongoing projects that the City is working on.  Haack and Council discussed the options for removal of the biosolids from the wastewater lagoons  by Clean Water Services.  Haack also spent time explaining the details of the wastewater headworks  repair project.  Haack also introduced the idea that the Library is running out of storage space and may need to construct a 200 square foot building using grant funds.  Haack also discussed that  City Building and Grounds Maintenance staff will be completing an assessment of City owned buildings and developing a maintenance plan.

At the January 22, 2013 City Council Meeting:

Public Works Committee Recommends No Rate Increases-The Public Works Committee made a recommendation to City Council that the City Council/Budget Committee refrain from raising water or sewer rates and budgets by holding or lowering operational costs.  The recommendation, which was passed by the Committee by majority vote at their December 19, 2012 meeting, was given to Council at the January 22, 2013 meeting.

Council Authorizes Parks Master Plan-Council authorized the City Administrator to sign an agreement with Oregon Parks and Recreation to draw down funds on Agreement LGP0252-2 and allow the City to enter into a contract with Mackay & Sposito for work on the Master Park Plan.  The contract is for $46,874.

Council Authorizes Contract for Environmental Assessment-Council authorized the City Administrator to negotiate a contract with Pacific Habitat Services (PHS) to complete an environmental assessment required by the Oregon DEQ.  The assessment is a required element of the approval process for the use of Clean Water State Revolving Funds to finance the City’s Waste Water Treatment Plant facility upgrade project.  The proposed cost of the work is $32,962 and will be paid with funds available through EPA State and Tribal Assistance Grant.

Council Approves Funds for Design of Repair-Council authorized the City Administrator to fund engineering services with HLB OTAK, to complete the design work for emergency repairs to the Waste Water Treatment Plant Headworks.  It was discovered in December of 2012 that the headworks and its discharge piping is unable to handle high flows during winter months.  The City now needs to modify the headworks.  Total cost is estimated to be $300,000 and will be paid for through a DEQ CWSRF  Loan that is available to the City.

Council Approves Contract for Final Design-Council authorized the City Administrator to negotiate a contract with Tetra Tech Engineering and Architecture Services to complete the Waste Water Improvement Project design engineering.  Tetra Tech Engineering was chosen for the project based on a recommendation from the Public Works Committee.

OLCC  Renewals Given OK By Chief-Vernonia Police Chief Mike Connor told Council he was giving a favorable recommendation for all OLCC License renewals in Vernonia.  License renewals were received from the following businesses: All In Pub & Eatery, Black Bear Coffee Co. & Bear Creek Pub, Blue House Cafe, Bridge Street Mini Mart, Cedar Side Inn, La Cabana Mexican Restaurant, New Hong Kong Restaurant, Vernonia Sentry Market.

Council Hears Update on Rose Avenue Project-Council heard an update from City Administrator Bill Haack on the current status of the Rose Avenue Project.  The City has been working with the Vernonia Health Board,  Vernonia Cares Food Bank, and  Vernonia Senior Center since 2008 to relocate the three entities which were all damaged in the 2007 flood.  City Council previously approved an exchange of land with Oregon Parks and Recreation and accepted the land for the proposed site.  Haack informed Council that the Health Board is working with an architect and are considering  options for construction of a new facility.  Haack says he will discuss with the Health Board the layout of the overall property and  how much space they will need for their building, how much parking they will need, space needed to allow ambulance access to their building, approaches to Cougar and Weed Avenues  and how much sidewalk, curb, gutters and street improvements the project will entail.

A workshop with Council and all the parties involved in the project was scheduled for Friday February 1, 2013.

Mayor Appoints Two Citizens-Mayor Josette Mitchell, with approval of Council, appointed Lynn Fulgham to the Library Board and appointed Kathy Larsen to serve on the Planning Commission.