Eagle Point planning and council hearing on transportation

Following 18 months of work involving a citizens advisory committee and technical advisory committee as well as members of the planning commission, the revised Transportation System Plan (TSP) came before city leaders in a formal public hearing last week.

The Eagle Point Planning Commission and the Eagle Point City Council were both seated for the hearings. It was a bit of a unique hearing in that the planning commission heard the presentation at 7 p.m. from Carl Springer, DKS and Associates from Portland, followed by a hearing before the city council. The council sat at the table during the first hearing, thus the data did not need to be presented for the second time.  Thomas Sisul, P.E. was the only community member to comment during the hearings.

The planning commission approved the plan at which point they were excused and  the hearing was opened by the city council.    There was discussion regarding sidewalk infill and how that would be handled. Councilor Mike Parker asked City Administrator Dave Hussell what he thought about Sisul’s issues regarding potential industrial land on the west side of Hwy. 62 and being competitive with White City. Hussell said while he thought Sisul made some good points in his letter, Eagle Point would not be in a position to be competitive with White City and he felt many of Sisul’s issues were primarily code issues not related to transportation

The city has a number of small changes to make on the final TSP document and therefore, the council moved to continue the TSP plan to the next regular council meeting, which will be in January when  the new council members are seated.

Leon Sherman made his last  official presentation as mayor and it was to Pat Jacobson, a long-time friend, for her service as a councilor. Jacobson had previously announced her resignation from the position saying her job as manager of the Eagle Point Rogue Federal was an increasing commitment. Jacobson served from March 2008 until Dec. 10, 2010.

The council considered whether to select one of the three applicants for Jacobson’ s seat at last week’s meeting or wait until the new council is seated. Leon Sherman is one of the three applicants, along with William Lawson and Bill Fierke. Sherman took a seat in the audience during the discussion. None of the applicants was interviewed and the council decided to let the new council fill the vacancy.

Eagle Point, along with Central Point, Phoenix and Talent, have been working with the Medford Water Commission to negotiate a new five-year water contract.  Because of issues of mutual concern, they formed a Cities Water Coalition and have been using the services of Public Works Management. The council approved a contract with Public Works Management not to exceed $1,500.

The council also voted 6-0 to support the Coalition as they asked the Medford Water Commission to open dialogue and discussion on the need for a rate increase along with various other water related issues. The commission met Dec. 15 in a public hearing. A letter signed by the mayors of each city in the coalition was presented to the water commission on Dec.15. It outlined nine major issues of concern regarding the proposed five year contract.

Eagle Point Council President Alan Curriston, Public Works Supervisor Robert Miller and City Administrator Dave Hussell attended the Medford Water Commission meeting along with representatives from the other cities in the coalition. Hussell said the commission delayed action on approving rate increases. They will meet with Coalition members in mid-January when the coalition will go over the nine major issues of concern.

The Dec.14 meeting was the last meeting for Mayor Sherman, councilors Terry Christianson, Wyn Lewis and Rick Tree. Thanks and praise was exchanged for a number of minutes by each to the staff and the staff acknowledge the ease with which they could work with the council. Mayor Sherman noted  he calculated he had attended 720 city council meetings over the years he has been involved.

An executive session was held regarding labor negotiations with no information following the session. The Dec. 28 session was cancelled due to the holidays.
By Nancy Leonard
Of the Independent


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