Administration / Utility Billing 

• This month when the utility bills were processed there was a hiccup in the system and the water consumption portion of the bill was doubled for every account. The problem was not discovered until after all of the bills were mailed out. The problem was corrected and all accounts are now showing the correct charges. City staff would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

• As of 12/12/2014 the outstanding balances were as follows:

90 day $1,915.62

60 day $7,993.80

30 day $2,4307.68

• Utilities shut-offs will be on 12/22/2014

• We would like to remind all utility customers that they can now register their account online. You can login and view your account information, current balance, and payment history. You can also pay your bill online through a third party merchant. Check the bottom portion of your bill for registration information. Please, feel free to call City Hall (503.429.5291) for any assistance.

Police Department – VPD 

• November 2014 Statistics: The total number of calls for service and Officer initiated activity was 212.

• December 01, – December 05, 2014: The total number of calls for service and Officer initiated activity was 38.

• December 06 – December 12, 2014: The total number of calls for service and Officer initiated activity was 74.

• Both of the recently purchased patrol vehicles are now in service.

• We have begun the background process for four Reserve Officer applicants. Upon completion, the selected applicants will be scheduled for medical evaluations.

Finance

• Finance Director is continuing to work with Public Works Foreman to assess the staffing needs of the Public Works Department. A report is being drafted that will show all tasks that should be done on a regular schedule. Preventative maintenance is the area most neglected due to lack of staff.

• Finance Director is working with the Senior Center’s insurance agent and the City’s insurance agent to ensure both parties are properly covered in preparation of the possible move of Senior Center into the Vernonia Community Learning Center next year. 

• The 2013-2014 Audit Report was delivered. There are copies available at City Hall for anyone interested in reviewing it. Part of the report contains a list of findings. These describe certain procedures or policies that need to be addressed for compliance. In past years there have been as many as 8 findings; we are pleased to report that current year findings are zero.

• Finance Director has begun reviewing the filing system and all files kept in the administration office at City Hall. This project is long overdue and will be worked on as time allows. We are hoping to have all files reorganized and condensed by spring.

• The City’s IT consultant from ISOutsource started the server upgrade project. The upgrade will add memory capacity to the servers as well as update the operating systems to ensure that all City information is protected and archived properly.

Public Works 

• Public Works staff diagnosed and temporarily repaired pump station #3 this week. A new float has been ordered and will be installed as soon as it arrives. The wet well of pump station #3 and wet well of pump station #1 were also cleaned out.

• Work has begun on cleaning out and sorting through the old water plant that is used for storage of water repair parts, tractor, and other implements. Two dumpsters of debris were removed from the building.

• Public Works spread two loads of gravel on Airport Road at the western end just past the last hangars. The road was in very bad shape with several large pot holes.

• A faulty pressure reducing valve was replaced on a water service on Rose Ave.

• The water plant and the wastewater chlorinators were serviced this week. This is done annually as preventative maintenance.

• Monthly water samples were taken to the lab this week. These are routine samples that must be taken and analyzed by a certified lab.

• Public Works Foreman surveyed a fallen tree at Airport Park. A very large Maple came down in the last wind storm and staff will work with the park host to create a cleanup plan. The plan will also include assessment of all of the large trees within the park.

• Public Works Foreman spent most of the week in Hood River at the annual wastewater conference. This is a requirement for certification.

• Public Works staff repaired and replaced the sign at the Cemetery which had been damaged a few weeks ago. They also replaced the sign at Webb Way on the back side of the lake.

• Staff removed the lake pump from the river and took it to the PW shop for storage.

• Staff spent most of Friday, December 12 cleaning up after Thursday night’s wind storm.

Planning / Building 

• Four Electrical Reconnect permits over the last few weeks.

Library 

• Circulation statistics: November 24 – December 01, 472 pieces of material were checked out.

• Circulation statistics:  December 01 – December 09: 627 pieces of material were checked out.

• Library staff would like to welcome our new director, Shannon Romtvedt. Shannon will be a lovely addition to the library. Please come in and meet Shannon.

• Saturday, December 20, drop by anytime between 2 and 3 for the Holiday Craft. Come make an ornament for the Christmas Tree. For K – 5.

• Please remember the “Adopt – A – Book” event at the library.  It is a wonderful way to gift the library extra books.

City Clerk / Administration 

• Volunteers are needed to serve on various City Committees, Boards and Commission. Participating on a City Committee, Board or Commission is a rewarding experience, providing an opportunity to learn and share your skills. It also enables volunteers to become involved in their local government. Application for Appointment and a list of open positions is available on the City web page or available from the City Recorder at City Hall.

• City Recorder preparing documents for the new Councilors to begin their four year term starting 2015.

City Administrator  

• City Administrator met with Jim Tierney, Community Action Team (CAT) Executive Director to review and benchmark situation, schedule and progress of different City’s projects involving CAT.

• Shannon Romtvedt was offered, and accepted, the Library Director position. Shannon holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science and a Bachelor in Writing and Literature. Most recently she has worked as Librarian at the City Library in Forest Grove and Hillsboro. Shannon’s first day of work will be Tuesday, December 16th.

• Barbara Ward has been our Interim Library Director during the past few months and has done an outstanding job for the City and the Library. Thank you, Barbara!

• City Administrator, PW Foreman and Finance/HR manager met to review and assess PW department functions, tasks and needs. The PW Department has been understaffed since 2012. In May 2014 the city hired two PW temporary PW employees to fill in. Their temporary contract has the duration of 12 months.

• City Administrator and new Library Director met to discuss operations, policies, assets and liabilities of the Library.

• City Administrator and PW Foreman inspected Airport Road earlier in the week. As a result, delivered two trucks of gravel to take care of the problem and the many holes.

• The City Administrator and Building Inspector (Troy McNealy – The Building Department LLC) met on-site to hear the concerns of a citizen about his neighbor’s construction site.

• The City Administrator and Finance Administrator met with Mark Schnepp (Anderson Park Host) to discuss recent concerns pertaining to public nuisance at the Park. Police Department was in assistance.

• The City Administrator and Finance Director met with Brad Bogus (Engineer, Tetra Tech). As Mr. Bogus is retiring he introduced City staff to his replacement.

• The City issued, on Thursday, December 11 a “Severe Weather Alert.” The National Weather Service had issued a High Wind Warning for Vernonia and Columbia County with a forecast that had winds potentially gusting between 50-60 mph and 75-80 mph. Administration, Police and Fire Departments were in constant contact to monitor the situation.

Special thanks to Vincent Aarts, Columbia County and the Emergency Operations Center, for their help in keeping us informed of weather developments, and for their readiness to extend full and total assistance.