FEMA, employee handbook and water system on SC agenda

Though Shady Cove Councilors Bill Kyle and Jim Ulrich were absent from the July 19 study session and meeting one issue was laid to rest. City Planner Lois DeBenedetti announced during the floodplain report that all homes from the 2001 FEMA Cav report are in compliance. Inspections will continue and voluntary inspections are coming in at a steady rate. Administrator Danise Brakeman and DeBenedetti will also be looking into the possibility of a separate inspection fee scale for Mobile Homes and RVs in the floodplain as generally these types of dwellings require less time and fewer inspections.

Council also discussed the new 60+ page Employee Handbook during the study session. A page by page review of the proposed book brought up several questions. One intently discussed issue was a regulation on drug testing. Mayor Ron Holthusen stood firmly in favor of mandatory drug testing in case of an employee accident while Councilor Leith Hayes felt testing may not be necessary. Brakeman will review this section with counsel and there will be further discussion before the final vote. Many questions also arose on the topic of workplace injury. The Mayor felt any work place accident should be reported immediately (vs. 24 hours as stipulated in the handbook) and employees should seek medical care right away. Hayes and Brakeman felt injuries should be handled on a case by case basis to keep insurance incidence numbers down. The conundrum; injuries which at first appear minor can be more serious than first glance shows, but it is prudent to keep incidents low for insurance purposes. Brakeman will consult with the city’s insurance company before this section is finalized.

Three ongoing issues were also discussed; first during the study session public comment Jerry Holmquist requested that he and his neighbors be de-annexed from the city due to the upcoming vote on a water system. Holmquist’s major issue was that the proposal of only 50 feet of waterline will be paid for when the system is put in. He advised he and many others have houses significantly further away from the main water lines and wells which work just fine. The Mayor advised there will be a joint water task force and council meeting on August 13 with RosAnna Noval of the Rural Community Assistance Corporation to discuss a rate study on the water project. During that meeting many variables will be discussed. The 50 feet is based on the Water Master Plan and council could vote to make it 15 feet or 200 feet; no decision has yet been made. Councilor Gary Hughes would also like to discuss the possibility of neighborhoods with existing water systems opting out of the citywide system altogether. With so much at stake and the likelihood of many citizens being interested in attending the Aug. 13 meeting Brakeman will look into the availability of the URCC as a larger meeting venue.

Second; Brakeman advised the University of Oregon has begun first steps on the re-drafting of a riparian ordinance. Hayes advised he’d like to re-vote on whether or not to have such an ordinance at all. Holthusen advised U of O is putting together a document he feels will answer that all important FAQ “Do we need and ordinance; can they make us have one” and asked for council to wait for that and see how the U of O process progressing before making any decisions.

Lastly, there is still no Planning Commission for the city. Though a few folks have been approached and encouraged to apply, no new applications have come in. Brakeman has not yet looked into the option of one or two councilors stepping in to commission positions temporarily to keep the momentum going; but will try to have an answer from legal before the next council meeting.


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