Vernonia City Administrators Report, April 1, 2013

WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT PROJECT

WWTP ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT

The City of Vernonia along with development team members from Otak, Tetra Tech, Pacific Habitat Services and Shannon and Wilson, are working closely together to provide NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) with temperature and ammonia modeling for the hyporheic discharge design now under DEQ review.  The NMFS is only one of the cross cutting federal environmental hurdles that need to be cleared in the submittal to EPA, but is clearly the one that may be problematic.  Otak is working to satisfy Pacific Habitat need for temperature data by Friday March 29, 2013.  DEQ and EPA are negotiating with NMFS on the required ammonia modeling.

OTHER PUBLIC WORKS ACTIVITY

SDC FEE SCHEDULE

The Public Works Committee will review a proposal from Dan Heffernan Company to update specific elements of the city SDC schedule to align the fee charged with the Master capital Plan.  I will bring this to the committee after the Council adopts the Master Capital Plan.

WATER RATE UPDATE

Oregon Association of Water Utilities is reviewing our revenue and expenses for the first two quarters of the fiscal year to provide guidance to the City Council on how to manage adjustments to the water utility rate in the future.

BROWNFIELD ASSESSMENT GRANT

PBS Engineering and Environmental consultants Heidi Yantz and Jerry Orlando presented an overview of the of roles and responsibilities to the Public Works Committee  on March 26, 2013.    In preparation for this meeting, PBS staff met with three community members: Sally Harrison, Shirley Doughtry, and Ralph Sturdevant, to review the inventory of businesses identified by PBS records research going back into the 1920s.  The PWC will meet with PBS on Saturday April 13, 2013 to develop eligibility criteria and to begin the process of site priorities.

PARKS DEPARTMENT

PRE-APPLICATION FOR TGM PROGRAM SERVICES

City applied for a Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development’s joint Transportation and Growth Management Program grant to analyze the connectivity of Vernonia Lake to the proposed Columbia County extension of the CZ Trail now in development.  The TGM project is budgeted at $5,000. If funded the project would start in FY 2013-2014.

SPENCER PARK DEVELOPMENT OPTIONS

The City is acquiring salvaged materials from the Washington Grade School to be used in the design and construction of improvements at the new Spencer Park.  The City intends to design a picnic community shelter in area.  The facility concept  includes the use of salvaged oversized lumber components of the school in the construction of a community facility.

GENERAL CITY ADMINISTRATION

CEMETERY CARETAKERS HOUSE

The City is in the process of assessing the Cemetery Caretakers House to determine our repair and rehabilitation options and to assess an option to sell all or part of that property. City Council has asked staff to develop a professional evaluation of value for the land and the improvements, to provide minimum repair standard using HUD’s HQS checklist to allow the home to be occupied, and a more comprehensive assessment of all physical systems to build a 15 year scheduled replacement maintenance program for the building.

CEMETERY MAINTENANCE SCHEDULE

The City is in the process of assessing the grounds maintenance standards that will apply to general cemetery management in the future.  This process will work in conjunction with the City of Vernonia Cemetery Committee.  This committee will help develop an enhanced community service approach to the long term regular maintenance of the Vernonia Cemetery. There will likely be at least one information gathering meeting or other survey tool used in the development of this maintenance plan.

CITY HALL REMODEL

The City received funding from CIS insurance to complete improvements to the City Hall Administrative Offices to enhance confidentiality, security and health.  The cost of the improvement is under $2,000 including some volunteer contributions and will be paid for by CIS.

SPECIAL SEASONAL WORKER PROGRAM EXPLORED

The City is exploring our eligibility to secure a seasonal worker grant that would reimburse the City for about ¾ of the salary paid to a seasonal grounds worker.  This person would be hired full-time as a limited term temporary worker for a term not to exceed six months.

POTENTIAL BUILDING CONDEMNATION 

Due to community complaints the City is exploring our options to condemn up to three properties that are bank owned and in utter disrepair.  We have been in contact with bank representatives over the past three plus years but in general have not found a way to motivate the asset management division of financial institutions to resolve the problems to our satisfaction.  The prospective properties are located at (1) 1010 State, (2) 875 Missouri Ave, and (3) 875 Park Drive.

FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT 

The City will renew our efforts to work with owners of land with buildings improvements that are identified by FEMA as being out of compliance with the national Flood insurance Program.  There are twenty-four properties that are on our current watch list.

COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS 

COMMUNITY GARDEN & GREENHOUSE PROJECT

The City Administrator participated in the Community Garden and Greenhouse Project working group for the first time.  They ere creating a highly useful learning environment for the students and the community as a whole.

ROSE AVENUE PROJECT

Scott Edwards Architects and Community Action Team working in concert with one another have reached consensus on a site design that supports the wishes of three stakeholder groups: Vernonia Area Senior Center, Vernonia Cares Food bank, and Vernonia Health Center Board.

TUALATIN VALLEY SCENIC BIKEWAY PROJECT

The City is working closely with partners representing Tualatin Scenic Bikeway Project.  A copy of the draft plan is found at the following URL: http://www.yourwaytoplay.com/Tourism-Partners/Scenic-Bikeway.

VERNONIA LAKE PUMP IMPROVEMENTS

The Vernonia Lions Club continues to secure information to be prepared to upgrade the pump located in the Nehalem River used to pump water into the Vernonia Lake.  The Lions Club will make a  future application to Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Restoration and Enhancement Grant Program.  In addition, Otak will provide some in-kind services to model the hydrology to rethink the in water physical location of this pump.

VERNONIA PREVENTION COALITION

The Vernonia Prevention Coalition  submitted an application for funding under the Drug-Free Communities in collaboration with the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  If funded this program would bring  the VPC $125,000 per year for five years (i.e. total grant is $625,000).  The City of Vernonia serves as the fiscal agent to the VPC and leases office space to the VPC at the Vernonia Community Learning Center.