UR Community Center seeks fee reduction from Shady Cove

The Upper Rogue Community Center addressed the Shady Cove City Council at their Jan. 19 regarding Transportation System Development Charges (SDC) and the cost of a  power line relocation when the addition to the center was underway. The power line bill was $4,823,

The total transportation SDC was $12,979.27. The URCC has paid $7,908.98. The city is asking for the remaining $5,070.30.

URCC board maintains they expanded the center to accommodate current programs and users, not to increase use or transportation. The parking lot is now smaller because of the expanded facility.

According to City Administrator Danise Brakeman, the URCC board asked for SDC charges to be waived in February of 2010. The request was denied saying there was no provision for such in their ordinance. The council offered a 10 year payment plan with interest. URCC paid half of the charges with the other half due Apr. 26, 2911.

The end of June 2011 Brakeman began to enforce the collection of the SDC. She said city policy allowed the collection of 9% interest. Brakeman said she later found a policy from May 2003 that did not specify interest. She recommended the council consider .5% (½  percent).

URCC addressed the history of the community center and the value it has to the city’s seniors and those with disabilities  providing bus service for medical needs as well as some shopping opportunities. They are the center for emergency services, maintain a thrift store, a lunch program, food pantry and youth activities, among other things. They rely heavily on grants and donations. 

At this point the URCC is in a precarious financial situation, driven by the existing economic situation and the loss of one very significant grant and fewer grants overall being available. When the former executive director Steve Hauck died, the center lost its prolific grant writer.

Pursuant to city Ordinance 148-297 , Ordinance 209 and Ordinance 230 and Shady Cove Administrative Policy,System Development Charges effective July 1, 2005, it appears SDC fees were improperly levied relative to the URCC ‘addition.’

URCC is asking for payment to them of $5,070.30 in SDC fees. In addition, they are asking for $4,823 for the relocation of the powerline be paid to URCC. Prior to construction of the addition to URCC, Pacific Power informed them the power lines for adjacent buildings were above ground, pole to building. It was later determined the power line to city hall crossed the URCC lot underground and had to be moved before construction could continue. Pacific Power stopped construction. The city refused to pay the cost of moving the power line and in order to move forward, the URCC  board paid for relocation of the line.

After over an hour of council discussion it was determined the city attorney would review ordinances. The city administrator was instructed to look into a way to handle an SDC refund or a credit. There was discussion involving possible half payment of the power line bill, perhaps contributing some dollars to URCC  on a regular basis and  addressing the issue as budgeting begins

No decision was made other than for the city to continue reviewing the issue and bringing ti back to council fairly soon.
By Nancy Leonard & Christy Pitto
Of the Independent


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