EP amends TUF, accepts street bid

The Eagle Point City Council approved an amendment to the Transportation Utility Fee (TUF) at their June 23 meeting. Only one person affected by the TUF was present at the meeting and there were no audience comments on the issue.

There are two revisions in the ordinance. The first revision applies to vacant land. The TUF will be $3.

The other revision is with respect to daily trip counts. Some businesses do not fall under a clear category in the Trip Generation Manual, which establishes the average daily trip calculations.  In cases where there are no clear categories the city would pay the cost for trip calculations.  In cases where a business disputes the new TUF, if the city has resources available, the could offer a mean to count trips as an alternative to a business having to hire an engineering firm to do the survey. City Administrator Dave Hussell said this would apply only after an appeal is requested and only if the city has resources available.

Councilor Terry Christiansen expressed the hope that several businesses could group together for a traffic study.

Bids were opened on June 23 for the re-do of the intersection of Royal and Main. There were five bidders. Johnny Cat came in with a bid about $114,000 under the engineer’s estimate. The job is scheduled to start right after July 4th and be concluded before school starts. The intersection will not be passable for about six weeks.

The budget was approved for 2009-10 in the amount of $16,726,064.

The methodology and revised systems development charges (SDC) for water was approved on the second reading.

There were five “housekeeping” measures approved.

The council presented Sharon Coupe with a plaque in recognition of her work and organizational effort relating to the Memorial Day “Picnic in the Park.”

During the public comment portion of the agenda a resident expressed concern over the billing date and due date of the water bill. She presented information from various utilities in valley and said, “Overall, the City of Eagle Point is very adversarial in nature and excessively punitive in approach.”

Currently the city sends out the water bill the first of the month. The request was for the billing to be on the 25th, which the complaining party said would fit other utilities and her bill paying schedule. She also asked for reasonable late fees and policies and the eliminating of late notices so close to a billing cycle to free staff to get bills out in a more timely manner.

The city administrator explained that the water bill is not late until the 25th of the month and there is an additional three weeks after that before there is any impact on the bill.

The city council voted two years ago to increase the late fee to $40. They did that instead of raising the water rate for everyone.

Council members asked staff to look at the 15 day cycle and to try calling and leaving a voice message. The staff will review the process and bring it back to council.

Melissa Owen, finance director for the city, provided information to the council on the new computer system and its impact on utilities. She said since sending out the information in the last water bill, 216 have signed up to receive the bill on-line, 75 will be paying by credit card,

By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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