Vernonia City News

At the December 15, 2014 City Council Meeting

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Gives Presentation About Lake- Council heard a presentation from Robert Bradley, a fish biologist with ODFW, concerning the potential for improvements at Vernonia Lake.  Bradley has been working with a group of interested local citizens to address concerns about consistent water levels, bank access and controlling weed growth.  Council asked Bradley to work with the Parks Committee and return with  proposed solutions.

Scout Project Update- Brad Ely gave the Council an update on his Eagle Scout Project.  Ely repaired and replaced eighteen interpretive signs at Vernonia Lake and along the Linear Trail.  Ely told the Council the project is mostly complete.

Council Authorizes Spending for Tractor Repair-Council approved expenditures  to rebuild the engine and fuel injector pump on a tractor/mower used at the Vernonia Cemetery.  The mower broke down two years ago.  Staff presented Council with an estimate of almost $8,000 for new parts.  Council directed staff to look for other estimates and search for used parts on-line.  If no better option is found by March 1, staff is authorized to move forward with the current bid.

Council to Explore Selling Cemetery House- Council heard a presentation from Casey Mitchell of Community Action Team about their Self Help Acquisition Rehab program.  Council is considering selling the house the City owns which is next to the cemetery and formerly served as the cemetery caretaker’s house.  The house is in disrepair.  Mitchell told Council his program helps working class families become owners through USDA funding and sweat equity.  Two citizens, Sally Harrison and Shirlee Daughtry spoke against selling the house.  Council instructed staff to explore the potential of selling the house through CAT’s program.  

Council Approves Amendment for Utility Billing-Council approved an amendment to Ordinance 895 which clarified language in sections 10 and 11, allowing late payment of utility bills without incurring late fee penalties and establishing how and when bills are considered late and service can be shut off.

Council Approves USDA Funding- Council approved Ordinance 899, authorizing the issuance of wastewater revenue bonds through USDA to finance and refinance construction and improvements to the wastewater system.  The amount of the funding is $5,577,000.

Webb and McNair Participate in Final Meeting-Councilors Donna Webb and Bruce McNair took part in their final City Council meeting.  Both chose not to run for election after being appointed and serving for two years.  Both were thanked for their service.  “The way both of you dug into this work, we have definitely become a better community because of having you on the Council,” said Council President Randy Parrow.