It’s July and that means Gorge Days is just around the corner. This year’s event promises to be even bigger and better than last year, which is no small feat.
Here is the latest news concerning our sewage lift stations.
I am currently applying for a Community Development Block Grant from the Department of Commerce for an amount between $350,000 and $400,000 to replace Lift Station #3. (These are Federal funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development which are allocated to the states for distribution.) This lift station, located next to Greenleaf Lake, has failed 38 times in the past 10 months alone. This has cost the city over $30,000 in maintenance costs.
June started off with a scary situation that was quickly handled by a member of our Public Works department. A distraught mom called our City Hall over the weekend and fortunately found Steven Hasson, our City Administrator, working on a day off. She quickly explained her toddler had somehow managed to lock themselves into a room on the second floor and they could not get the door open. Steven called Public Works and Bryan Henrichsen dropped what he was doing and took a ladder tall enough to allow him to climb through the second story window and open the door.
Ladies and gentlemen: I would like to encourage each of you to attend the City Council meeting Tuesday evening May 27 at 7: 00 P.M. to offer support or testimony to help the City demonstrate you are behind the City’s efforts to pursue a Community Development Block Grant [CDBG] application. This support action will enhance the City’s prospects of receiving a grant to replace the City’s three  aging lift stations –which collectively break down on average every six days reflecting the fact they are on their last legs.
I know Spring officially started over a month ago but with the sound of lawn mowers becoming a more regular occurrence and a run of sunny days it’s actually starting to feel like we’ve made it through another Winter.
With our current mix of sun and warmer weather the grass is growing so fast you can almost watch it happen. This means frequent lawn mowing is required to keep our yards looking neat, which leaves all of us lawn-mowing individuals looking for somewhere to dump our grass clippings.
There is good news and bad news in City Hall.
First the bad news. Annette Taylor, who has worked here for the past 15 months has resigned. Annette did an outstanding job with our Municipal Court and was instrumental in ensuring the smooth transfer of the court functions to the County. We will miss her smile and warm competence.
Spring is here, according to my calendar at least, and the weather does seem to be getting a bit more pleasant. Other indications include trees and flowers starting to bud and the sound of lawn mowers in the air.
While the onset of spring is lifting our spirits here in City Hall, we are also dealing with some sadness caused by the resignation of Annette Taylor, one of our Deputy Clerks.
Title 13, which is the Utility Section of the Municipal Code has been updated for the first time since 2003. Ordinance 1036 deals with the water section of the code and Ordinance 1037 deals with sewer.
Resolution 471 breaks out all utility rates, charges and fees from Title 13 so they are readily accessible. The City Council approved these on April 22nd and they are now posted on the City website.
I should have known better than to mention how relatively mild the winter had been in last month’s newsletter. We barely had time to print them up before we got hit with freezing cold and snow. Lesson learned, I promise not to talk about how nice the weather is again. Well, I promise to try anyway.
We are currently working very diligently to find a way to improve our sewer infrastructure. Three of our lift stations are over 30 years old and need to be replaced or refurbished. Our estimated cost to accomplish this is $600,000.
We are seeking a grant through the Community Development Block Grant for $450,000 and a low interest loan spread over a 15 year period for $150,000. This would allow us to replace Lift Stations #2 and #3 in their entirety and refurbish Lift Station #4.