Vernonia City News

At the June 16, 2014 City Council Meeting:

Council Adopts  2014-15 Budget-Following a Public Hearing, City Council voted to adopt the 2014-15 Budget by approving Resolution 13-14.  The Budget calls for total funds of $7,001,971, of which approximately $3 million is for the Wastewater Treatment Project.  There was no public testimony.  Council also approved the levy of property taxes at a rate of $5.8163 per $1,000 of assessed value.  Council also approved Resolution 14-14, accepting State Revenue Sharing Funds of $15,000.

Council Asks for Search for Police Clerk- Council denied a request by Police Chief Mike Conner to directly hire volunteer Iwalani Leininger for a part-time Administrative/Records Clerk.  The position is for up to twenty hours per week.  Council asked that this position be advertised and open for applications before a hire is made and said they need to establish a policy on how the City handles any open paid positions in the future.

Council Approves Cemetery Rules-Council approved Rules and Regulations for the Vernonia Pioneer and Memorial Cemeteries based on discussions by the Vernonia Cemetery Committee.  The adoption of the rules is expected to help diffuse conflict over what is allowed at the cemeteries.

Council Approves Reimbursement-Council approved a claim by Terry LaChapelle for sewer issues at 1992 Bridge Street.  The claim was for a total of $938 to fix the city sewer line into the property. CIS, the City Insurance company will pay half, the City will pay the other half.  Councilor Bruce McNair also requested the City send a letter of apology to the claimant.  

Council Approves Trailer Permit-Council approved a Temporary Trailer Permit for Don Biancone at 1279 Alder Street.

Council Approves Library Hire- Council approved the hiring of a temporary employee for four hours per week for eleven weeks to manage the Library Summer Reading Program.

Council Approves Sidewalk/Curb Bid-Council approved the low bid by Robert Watts Construction for 425 feet of new curbs and 325 feet of new sidewalk on Maple Street. 

Council Denies Job Classification Request- City Administrator Pro Tem Josette Mitchell informed Council that while going through job classifications it was discovered that a Public Works employee was incorrectly classified as a Utility Worker 2, when their certifications only qualified them as Utility Worker 1.  Mitchell said the worker, who expects to retire in twenty-eight months, asked that they be allowed to forego updating their certifications and continue being paid as Utility Worker 2.  Council denied this request and  gave the worker ninety days to update certifications or begin being paid as a Utility Worker 1.

Council Approves Jamboree Requests-Council approved requests from the 2014 Vernonia Jamboree Committee for street closures and use of City space.  Requests included closure of Adams Avenue, Park Drive, Maple Street from Weed Avenue to Adams, and Grant Street from Bridge Street to North Street.   Requests for use of City space included Shay Park, Anderson Park Horse Arena, Hawkins Park, the old WOEC parking lot at Adams and Maple, the grassy area next to the current Health Center, old school grounds for softball tournament plus the parking areas, Vernonia Learning Center, Vernonia Lake, and the gravel area next to the Senior Center.

Police Chief Plans Second Citizens Meeting- Police Chief Mike Conner has scheduled a second meeting with local citizens to discuss police issues.  Conner said the meeting is planned for July 10th at 6:30 PM at the Vernonia Fire Station and will focus on use of force and protecting your property

Topics From the Floor- Carol Davis, who serves on the City Cemetery Committee, commended the work of the groundskeeper at the Memorial Cemetery and asked Council to approve the Rules and Regulations that were on the agenda.

Jerry Cordell introduced himself as the new owner of the Vernonia Inn and the old Masonic Lodge.  Cordell said he would like to work with the City to establish fair water and sewer rates for his property.  He said he hopes to have the Inn open by October 1, 2014.