Public addresses concerns to Eagle Point council

The first hour of last week’s Eagle Point City council meeting involved citizen complaints and concerns.  There were 15 or so members in the audience. It appeared all but two were from the golf club community area. Dennis Mihecko spoke as one of those from the golf community concerned about “the dome.” He had a list of about six questions concerning the water reservoir and its cover (the dome) all of which at one time or another over the last several months have been addressed by the council. Questions concerning roof approval and that process, questions regarding finish options such as painting and so forth were asked and answered by council members, City Administrator Dave Hussell and Public Works Director Rob Miller.   

Staff and council said they were caught by surprise by the height. At a recent meeting there samples of various processes that could be used to change the color of the 640 panels were examined. An engineer representing the firm that builds the panels recommended the council leave it the way it is and said that within two years the color will not be nearly as bright. He said if this dome was in L.A. it would only take nine months for it to change because they have so much more pollution than does our area.

Hussell explained the city saved over $1 million by using the old federal reservoir (which Councilor Terry Christiansen pointed out cost the city $1). The reservoir is currently nearly full and being monitored for any leaks. The next step will involve a pump station on Robert Trent Jones. This will improve the pressure to the golf community area and should probably be complete in about 90 days. At that time lines to the  the new reservoir will be connected and activated.

Bottom line, was summed up by councilor Alan Curriston when he said it looks the way it does. You can be upset, but it is what it is.

In answer to a question from resident Charlotte Hoppe, Hussell said the city will be doing some landscaping at the reservoir. He explained until the contractor is finished, the city cannot start such a project. However, the city is in the process of planning some landscaping and a berm. The city will not use a landscape architect and, as was explained by Miller, the city will only plant on city property. Part of the area around the reservoir does not belong to the city.

Monika Sayr, a resident of Butte Crest Park for the past nine years, spoke to the council “to inform you of what is really going on in our park. I don’t know how you could help us, but you should be aware of it.” She addressed the increase of rent on a continuing basis by the out-of-state owner and the work she and other mobile home park people are doing to get a “rent justification” bill passed by the legislature. She pointed to the elderly who are on very fixed incomes and have to give up something-often some food or medication- to pay for rent increases. She said the owner’s attitude is, “If you do not like living in the park, then move out.”

“The seniors need help. Our park needs help, otherwise our affordable housing will disappear,” said Sayr. She said in the last six months she has seen about 14 families walk away from their homes. And she says she knows of four homes removed from the park, two more ready to move out and about six other families ready to abandon their homes.

There is a bill being prepared to go to the legislature in February. The group, which is statewide now, has a lobbyist and is represented also by Rep. Peter Buckley.

Items on the agenda were handled in short order. They include authorization to contract with Rogue Valley Shooting Sports Association. This allows the police department to reserve the shooting range for two days in April and two days in October each year to qualify officers. The cost is $11 per officer per year. The contract is for five years, but the per officer cost may be reviewed annually. The resolution was approved.

Approval was given to renew the services of John Blackhurst as municipal judge. He has served in this capacity since December 2008 and prior to that was the pro tem judge. There are two court sessions per month, each with a fee of $400 for the judge.

A new job description for the chief of police was also approved. The previous description included the chief as the public safety director, which included overseeing the volunteer fire department. Since Eagle Point became a part of Fire District 3 several years ago that portion of the job description no longer pertains.

A proclamation recognizing July 26 as the  commemorative day of the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed by Mayor Leon Sherman.

Additional items, not on the agenda included reviewing recommendations for tables and chairs, drinking fountain and clock for Centennial Plaza. There was agreement on the type and price for the water fountain, the other two items will be discussed after more information is obtained.

There was discussion regarding the reorganized dispatch center and the role of the various entities and the council was updated on Channel 15, which belongs to the City of Eagle Point.

Following an executive session regarding real property transactions, it was the consensus of the council that the staff should look into the issue.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent

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