City Department Updates: January 1-9, 2015

 Administration / Utility Billing 

• Utility clerk sent out bills on 12/24/2014 to 958 customers for a total amount of $158,372.12 .  As of 1/9/2015 the outstanding balances were as follows:

90 day 2,108.36

60 day 8,306.14

30 day 27,715.92

• Utilities shut offs will be on 1/22/2015


Police Department – VPD 

• January 1st , 2015 – January 8th, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 69.

• Reserve Officer Update: Pending results of Medical & Psychological Evaluations.

• Surplus Patrol Vehicles: VPD will be accepting sealed bids on two patrol vehicles through February 13, 2015



• The Finance Director spent most of the week going through old files, sorting and reorganizing. This is a tedious project as all files must be reviewed to determine retention requirements and it hasn’t been done for many years.

• Staff is still working to resolve the Library computer issues. Staff will present the latest proposal to Council at the next meeting.

• The server upgrade project is completed and the final cost was just under the estimate given by our IT provider. The upgrade will be good for at least three years. The upgrades must be done in order to ensure that all software updates and security is up to date.

• The Finance Director continues to work on the Waste Water Treatment Plan project documents. A meeting of all agencies involved with the project is scheduled for next week. There has been a change of staffing at Tetra Tech (the consulting engineering group) and there is a new project manager assigned to the project. He has over 20 years experience and we are confident that he will do a good job for the City.

• The City’s insurance provider has awarded the City $7,500 through their risk management incentive grant program to help pay for a security fence at “pump station #1” near the transfer station. This will eliminate the possibility of someone getting hurt on the property and deter vandalism that has occurred in the past. 


Public Works 

• Staff replaced wastewater pump and float controls at the water plant. The water plant is at too low of an elevation so all wastewater from the water plant and public works shop must be pumped to the sewer system.

• Staff continues to work on the water meter groundtruthing.

• Modifications to raw water pump #1 are complete now and it is back in service. Raw water pump #2 will now get the same modifications so that both pumps are exactly the same. The modification required replacement of the intake check valve which is no longer available from the manufacturer.

• Staff replaced the roof on the public works oil storage shed. It was replaced with a metal roof.

• Staff installed a new water service on Knickerson Loop.


Planning / Building 

• Planning Commission Vacancies: The Planning Commission is in need of two more members and welcomes any one that is interested in Land Development to apply for a position.

• The Building Department Building and Electrical Inspectors continue to process all applications in a timely manner.



• Circulation Statistics: 1,978 items were checked out in December 2014. By comparison, 1,738 items were checked out in November 2014 and 2,091 items were checked out in December 2013.

• New Members: 14 new library patrons in December 2014. Welcome!

• Library Director contacted the Portland Children’s Museum to renew the library membership card that is set to expire at the end of January. Unfortunately, the Children’s Museum has discontinued membership for all libraries so we will no longer be able to offer this service. This membership card has been purchased for many years by the Friends of the Library and has had regular use by families. Last opportunity to check out the Museum membership card: January 31, 2015. The library still offers a membership card to OMSI, please call or visit the library to make a reservation. The Portland Children’s Museum has a new “Museum Access Program” which benefits families that are on some form of public assistance (WIC, free or reduced school lunch, etc.). Information on this program will be available at the library and is also available on the museum website.

• The library has new Picture Books and Board Books, funded by the Oregon State Library “Ready to Read” Grant. They are currently on display at the library, please check them out!


City Clerk / Administration 

• The City Recorder had the privilege on January 5th at the first City Council meeting for 2015 to administer the oath of office to newly elected Josette Mitchell, as Mayor, for two more years, and Jill Hult and Mike Seager as City Councilor each serving for four years. Congratulations!

• The City of Vernonia hosted the first 2015 quarterly City/County Dinner for all County Officials on January 13, 2015 at the Cabin in Vernonia. This is a time for all officials to come together to share what is happening in their city and support each other and this being the first meeting there will be the opportunity to meet those that have been newly elected.


City Administrator / Administration 

• The City Administrator attended the Library Board Meeting. With the new Library Director recently taking the helm of the department it was a good opportunity to meet with the members of the Board and talk about incoming projects, future programs under consideration, and a comprehensive vision of the Library role in the community over the next 5 to 20 years.

• The City Administrator met the Parks and Recreation Committee’s Chair (Scott Laird) to discuss upcoming projects.

• Focus was on improvements (restrooms and picnic shelter) at Spencer Park; and final improvements to the new baseball field (Spencer Park). These items/projects will be presented to the City Council at the upcoming Council meetings.

• The City Administrator and Finance Manager met representatives of WSC Insurance. Tom BeLusko, Principal and Alycia Johnson discussed Risk Management Best Practices and Incentives and suggested some potential opportunities that the City could explore while maximizing its insurance program/coverage and minimizing risks and cost (Bonus Program). Among some of the potential Bonus Programs were: Executive Risk Management Team (liability credit); Online Learning (liability credit); Elected Officials Training (liability credit); Continuity of operations plan and agility (property credit) and Volunteer Management Program (Workers Compensation Credit).