At the December 1, 2014 City Council Meeting:
Mayor Appoints Planning Commissioner- Mayor Josette Mitchell, with approval from the Council, reappointed Jeff Goodman to the Planning Commission.
Council Discusses VCLC Lease with Senior Center-Council discussed a memorandum from Community Action Team (CAT) concerning a potential lease agreement between the City and the Vernonia Senior Center for use of the Vernonia Community Learning Center (VCLC). The memo from CAT, written by Jim Tierney and presented by Casey Mitchell, outlined proposed terms of the agreement. The suggested lease would be for two years at $1/year with the Senior Center responsible for all utilities. The agreement would allow the Friends of the Library to continue to use one office space for book storage. Council discussed storage space and furniture currently in the building. Council agreed with the terms and instructed staff to work with the City Attorney to finalize a lease.
Council Accepts General Election Abstract- Council voted to accept the official abstract of votes from the Columbia County Clerk’s office for the General Election held on November 4, 2014. The acceptance of the abstract makes official the election of Josette Mitchell as Mayor and Jill Hult and Mike Seager as City Councilors.
Police Identify Owner of House- Police Chief Mike Conner told Council that he has identified a bank which is the owner of an abandoned property in Vernonia. The City has received complaints that the property is being used by squatters and has become a nuisance.
City Hires New Librarian- City Administrator Gian Paolo Mammone informed Council that Shannon Romtvedt has accepted the Librarian position and will start on December 16th. Romtvedt is a Vernonia resident who is a graduate of George Fox University and holds a Masters in Library Science (MLS) from the University of North Texas.
City Administrator Report- City Administrator Mammone updated Council on the Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade project and informed them that an ordinance will be read at the December 15 Council meeting. After thirty days the ordinance will take effect allowing the City to move forward with bids for construction.
Council discussed with Mammone the mistake which was made in the City utility billing. Mammone explained how the mistake had happened and discussed how the City will handle the over charges. New bills will not be mailed to customers.
Mammone told Council that a tree along Bridge Street had been damaged by a private citizen during unauthorized trimming. Council instructed Mammone to organize a meeting of local business owners to discuss solutions to the tree problem, which have grown too big.