Tag Archives: Vernonia City Department Updates

City Department Updates April 13 – May 1, 2015

Administration/Utility Billing

• As of May 1, 2015 the outstanding balances on active accounts are as follows: 90 days $39.55, 60 days $292.64, 30 days $1,859.75

•  Late fees will be applied and shut off notices will go out May 18, 2015. Shut offs will be on May 30,2015

•  Utilities clerk added 7 new water/sewer accounts to our billing system.

•  3 Mechanical permits were issued.

 

Police Department-VPD

• April 9th, 2015 – April 15th, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 50.

• April 16th, 2015 – April 29th, 2015 –The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 87.

• All VPD staff attended “Crisis Intervention training.” This training was free and a majority of Columbia County Law Enforcement agencies attended. The training provided some additional tools/ways to successfully deal with people in crisis or mentally ill.

• VPD has focused on identifying nuisance violations. Several residence took advantage of the “Vernonia Clean Up” weekend and corrected some of the violations. VPD is still working with several residences to correct other problems.

Finance 

• The first budget meeting was held. The Budget Committee received the proposed budget and heard the Budget Message from the City Administrator. Brett Costley was elected to chair the committee with Susan Wagner as Vice Chair. For a copy of the proposed budget  contact Angie at financial@vernonia-or.gov or stop by City Hall.

• The advertisement for bids for the WWTP project has finally been published and contractors are already responding to the ad. We are scheduled to open bids by the end of May.  Read More

City Department Updates: March 30 – April 10, 2015

Administration / Utility Billing

• Ordinance No. 898 that changed the City’s policy on Past Due Utility Accounts was passed by City Council on December 15th, 2014.  The following were the outstanding balances as of January 2015: 90 days: $2,108.36, 60 days: $8,306.14, 30 days: $27,715.92

As of April 2015 the outstanding balances are as follows: 90 days: $ 0.00, 60 days: $313.77, 30 days: $1,363.36

• Reminder: Shut off letters will be mailed and Late Fees will be applied on 4/17/2015. Shut offs will be on 4/27/2015

• Issued 3 electrical permits.

• Issued 2 building permits for 2 new homes.

Police Department – VPD

• Vernonia Homicide Investigation: The Vernonia Police Department has received several questions regarding the shooting incident that occurred on Riverside Drive on March 26th, 2015. At this time, only very basic details are available for public release. These types of investigations take an extraordinary amount of time and are very tasking on Law Enforcement personnel. The Vernonia Police Department will provide updates when more information comes available. However, in order to protect the integrity of the investigation we will only release very basic details.

• March 11th, 2015 – March 31st, 2015 – The total number of calls for service and Officer Initiated activity was 150.

• Statistics: The total number of calls for service and officer initiated activity in March 2015 was 230.

• April 1st, 2015 – April 8th, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer Initiated activity was 74.

• Nuisance Violations: VPD is working on 21 properties that have violations. Details of the violations along with an area map will be provided during the next regular council meeting.

Finance

• An ad for Park Host opening at Anderson Park was posted on the City website and on two sites recommended to us by State Parks in order to find a replacement host. The current hosts have agreed to remain at the park until June. The posting closes on May 15th.

• Beginning April 6th, James McMahon will be stepping into a new role as Parks Superintendent. He will be in charge of overseeing all of the City’s parks. He will be a great asset to the City and we would like to congratulate him on his new position.

• Finance Director met with City Administrator to go over the different funds that make up the City’s budget and to go over some history of the City budget in order to begin preparing the budget message.  Final budget preparations continued. Read More

City Department Updates March 16-27, 2015

Administration / Utility billing 

• As of 3/26/2015 the outstanding balances on active were as follows:

90 day 147.26

60 day 915.34

30 day 4294.84

• Sent out 193 shutoff notices on March 17th, 79 door hangers went out on March 24th, we had 7 shutoffs on March 27th.  • • REMINDER: This is a reminder to 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 thru a third party merchant. Check the bottom portion of your bill for registration information.

Police Department – VPD

• March 11th, 2015 – March 18th, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 61.

• Nuisance Violations: The Vernonia Police Department continues to work on nuisance violations. Several properties around the City have been identified as having minor to major violations. Some of the properties in question are vacant and it has been difficult to locate the responsible owners.

• Explosive Devices: On Friday, March 13th two old hand grenades were found in a shop at a local residence. These types of devices are found occasionally and a majority of the time the explosive material has been removed. Unfortunately, we are unable to tell if the devices are safe or not by looking at them. Therefore, the Oregon State Police Explosives Unit was contacted for safe disposal. Upon their arrival, they x-rayed the devices and determined that the explosive material had been removed. When devices like this are found, Law Enforcement should be notified immediately so that the items can be safely removed and destroyed.  Read More

City Department Updates, February 19-27

Administration/ Utility Billing

• As of 1/20/2015 the outstanding balances were as follows: 90 days: $630.59 60 days: $2,477.79 30 days $10,701.01

• With the new ordinance No. 898 that states bill are due within 30 days of billing date, in January we had 105 shut off notices sent out, 3 were shut off, and in February we are sending out 73 shut off notices. The numbers are coming down.

• Please come in to City Hall if you have an outstanding balance and would like to see if you are eligible for a payment plan, Thank you to all of you who have come in and set up payment plans.

Finance 

• Finance Director filled out parade permit for the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade. This is a small but lively parade put on each year by our local leprechaun, Pat Knight. Parade starts around 5:15, come out and join the fun.

• Finance Director met with our building inspector to go over permitting requirements for two new homes. Plans were submitted for review, but without a planner on staff the City will be looking for a planner to fill in. There are several steps involved in the permit process for new homes that must be done prior to issuance.

Public Works

• Public Works staff continued pruning of downtown trees.

• Staff began putting up new signage and parking lot striping at the VLCC in preparation for the Senior Center to move in.

Library 

• Library staff had a meeting on Tuesday, February 17 and discussed new procedures, upcoming programs, and new equipment.

• Library Director met with the Chief of Police to discuss staff procedures and follow-up in emergency and other difficult situations.

•  Every year the Friends of the Vernonia Library purchase a movie license for the library so we can show movies on a regular basis. Our movie license (through Movie Licensing, USA) restricts the library from using the name of the movie or studio when advertising through public media (newspapers, website, etc.). So that is why we ask you to contact the library for movie titles.

City Administrator /Administration 

•City Administrator, together with Mayor Mitchell and Councilor Hult attended a meeting with representatives of Ridge Riders.

 

• City Administrator met with Charlice Kaylor (The Building Department Manager/Building Official) to discuss current situation and potential improvement to the planning / inspection functions.

• The City Administrator, Mayor Mitchell, and Dan Brown (Community Action Team) met with Scott VanHoff (FEMA) to discuss enforcement of the City’s flood hazard reduction ordinance, and compliance with deficiencies noted in the previous Community Assistance Visit (CAV).

 

City Department Updates: February 2-13, 2015

Administration / Utility Billing 

• Late fees will be applied on 2/17/15. Shut off letter will be sent out on 2/17/2015. Shut offs will be on 2/26/2015

• Staff is getting ready to send out the Six month Business License renewal.

• As of 2/13/2015 the outstanding balances were as follows: 90 days $1,098.37, 60 days $3,532.38, 30 days $14,280.26

 

Police Department – VPD 

• Statistics; The total number of calls for service and officer initiated activity in January 2015 was 299.

• January 30th, 2015 – February 4th, 2015 –The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 54.

• February 5, 2015 – February 11, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 62.

• Departmental Training- All VPD Officers will be attending “Emergency Vehicle Operation” training over the next two weeks. The training is in Portland and VPD vehicles will be traveling for training.

• Reserve Officer Update: VPD will reopen for Reserve Police Officers in July upon budget approval. The last two potential candidates were unable to successfully complete the process.

• Surplus Patrol Vehicles: As of February 12, 2015 VPD has not received an acceptable bid on the two surplus patrol vehicles. We will be relisting the vehicles next week.

 

Finance 

• A job posting was placed on Monday for Assistant to City Administrator/City Recorder. After over 10 years of service to the City, Joann Glass has retired. She has been a great asset to the City and will be missed. We wish her all the best. The job posting can be found on the City’s website, the League of Oregon Cities website and in the local newspaper.  Read More

City Department Updates January 12-31, 2015

Administration / Utility Billing 

• As of 1/23/2015 the outstanding balances were as follows:

90 days $1,015.15

60 days $3,642.46

30 days $11,799.13

• Correction on bills sent out for the month of December: the count was 858.

• Utility Clerk mailed 858 water/sewer bills for a balance of $11,8428

• As of 1/30/2015 the outstanding balance

90 days $813.80

60 days $2,691.38

30 day $8,025.12

 

Police Department – VPD 

• January 9th, 2015 – January 14th, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 70.

• January 15th, 2015 – January 21st, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 59

• January 22nd, 2015 – January 29th, 2015 – The total number of Calls for Service and Officer initiated activity was 81.

• Officer Training: February 2-6, 2015 – Officer Matthew Brady will be attending Field Training Officer Training. The training is a total of (40) hours and will allow Officer Brady to train and evaluate new recruits.

• Reserve Officer Update: We currently only have one candidate left. VPD will be accepting applications for Reserve Officers again in the near future.

• Surplus Patrol Vehicles: VPD will be accepting sealed bids on two patrol vehicles through February 13, 2015. To date, VPD has received a few phone calls regarding the vehicles but we have not received any bids.

 

Finance 

• The City’s Federal Surplus program eligibility was renewed this week. Every three years we have to renew so that the City can take advantage of this program. Not only can we take surplussed items to be sold,  we can also purchase a wide variety of items, including equipment, at a very low price. This program is run by the State Department of Administrative Services in Salem.

• City Staff and the Mayor met with our new project manager, Gordon Munro with Tetra Tech, Jon Forrester with OTAK and members of the funding agencies for the WWTP: Drew Davis with USDA and Evan Haas & Mike Pinney with DEQ. The meeting was organized so that all those who’ve been involved could bring Gordon up to speed on the status of the project and to ensure that everyone received the same information at the same time. The meeting was very productive and we are hopeful that we will be ready to advertise for bids by mid-March.  Read More

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

 

Finance 

• 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.  Read More

 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.  Read More

City Department Updates: November 1-13, 2014

Administration / Utility billing 

• The Utility Clerk mailed 896 bills on 24th of October. Late fees will be applied on November 14, 2014. Shut offs will be on November 21, 2014

• Under the direction of Council, the City Administrator and Utility Clerk met to review and draft an update on the “Billing and Collection” section of the Utilities/Water Ordinance. The intent is to simplify and clarify the Billing and Collection process and to limit the opportunity for the creation of large and long term outstanding water bills. Once completed, the draft will be presented to City Council for review.

• Vernonia Cares is asking Businesses and Organizations to come together and help collect food items for the “Annual Christmas Holiday Boxes.” City Hall will be a drop location; the goal is to receive 50 boxes of gelatin and 50 boxes of pudding to help support Vernonia Cares. For more information or questions, please call Pam Weller 503-429-4431 or Vernonia Cares 503-429-1414 for drop off sites.

• So far for the month of November we have opened two new utility accounts.

• Utilities Clerk will be sending out the Utility Bills on November 25 and we will have two inserts:

1. Public Work on Testing Backflow Assemblies

2. Columbia County Mental Health on Suicide Prevention

 

Police Department – VPD

• November 1st, 2014 – November 6th, 2014 The Vernonia Police Department documented 43 incidents/calls for service.

• November 7th, 2014 – November 12th, 2014 (5 Days) – The Vernonia Police Department documented 42 incidents/calls for service.

• On Tuesday, November 4th a fire started in a residence on “F” Street. The Vernonia and Mist Fire Departments responded to the call as well as Vernonia Police Department. The house was completely destroyed. No residents were in the home at the time of the fire. This case is currently under investigation.

• We are currently working on completing work on the second  new patrol vehicle. Once that is complete, we will be able to begin the sale of the two recently surplussed vehicles.

• We are hoping to complete interviews with the four Reserve Police officer applicants shortly. Those individuals selected will then be sent in for medical evaluations and psychological testing. Read More

City Department Updates: October 17- 31

ADMINISTRATION / UTILITY BILLING 

• 102 shut off notices were mailed out. Shut offs were scheduled for Wednesday the 22nd. Out of the 102 accounts still on the shut off list on Monday, 96 made payments, 12 called to say they would pay on Friday. Only six customers were shut off.

• As of 10/23/2014 the outstanding balances were as follows:

30 days past due: $ 8,382.64

60 days past due: $ 2,791.33

90 days past due: $ 1,452.06

• 896 utility bills were mailed  for a total of $124,104.78 billed.

• While reviewing multi-unit dwelling accounts, staff noticed some inconsistencies in some accounts. These inconsistencies occurred when the new billing software was implemented. Staff is in the process of verifying the correct billing for these accounts. Findings will be presented to Council for information with the intent to have corrections made in time for the next billing cycle.

• City Hall has been receiving many calls about burn permits: For information please call the Vernonia Fire Department 503-429-8252.

• As a reminder to our citizens: Waste Management Transfer Station is open the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month: 8am -2pm except Holidays. The location is off California Avenue.

 

POLICE DEPARTMENT – VPD 

• October 10th, 2014 – October 16, 2014 – The Vernonia Police Department responded to (45) calls for service.

• October 17th, 2014 – October 24, 2014 – The Vernonia Police Department responded to (61) calls for service.

• VPD will have high school student ride along/s over the next few weeks. One is an exchange student that is doing a report about government and the other is doing the ride along for a Senior Project. The student doing the Senior Project will need a minimum of 20 hours ride time.

• One resident in the 400 block of A St. has failed to correct Nuisance Violations and has been issued a citation. The property will be rechecked as we get closer to the court date. As of 10/24/2014 the resident that had not corrected the problem/s has made some progress, but all violations have not yet been corrected. Read More