The Eagle Point City Council met on February 12. Dan Petersen, Fire Chief for Jackson County Fire District No. 3, addressed a difficulty with the group that assesses and rates communities for fire protection. Insurance companies subscribe to that group’s findings in order to set fire insurance rates. District 3 is having trouble pinning them down as to what the district needs to do. Though frustrated, Petersen has and will continue doggedly seeking answers and address any issues brought up. On the upside, his annual report spoke well of the district: improved response times; 25-30 year employees; good relationship with RCC and use of their program’s interns; good relations between career firefighters and volunteers; healthy collaboration with the City of Medford for emergency vehicle maintenance. He noted increased incidents, and also a 26% rise in motor vehicle collisions for which the fire and police departments are searching for reasons.
Helen Wolgamott offered background on the museum before and since the city took it over. She thanked Eagle Point for its assistance. Then Tam Moore talked about the proposed Rogue Valley Heritage District, a countywide organization forming in line with a 2007 law, which would include communities housing 15 museums across Jackson County, if they chose to join. The group will create a certified resolution and file with the County Clerk’s Office, then procure signatures to put the matter on the May 2014 ballot. The tax assessment would be five cents per thousand dollars. The council agreed to support the heritage district and will issue a formal resolution at a later date.
Julie Thompson also spoke of history and the local museum. She represents a guardian group (incorporated and in the process of applying for non-profit status) formed to help with the museum’s needs.
The council passed a resolution appointing Jerry Close as Commissioner to the Eagle Point Parks and Recreation Commission. They also authorized the City of Eagle Point to enter a contract with ArcSine Engineering for electrical predesign lighting on Loto and Main Streets, allowing groundwork to be in place before the laying of any new concrete. Thus the city won’t have to remove sidewalks and curbs to install lighting later on. The previously approved Katherine Mae Tentative Plat and Master Site Plan was granted a 24-month administrative development extension. The council passed a resolution designating no parking at 519 South Shasta (in front of the Head Start facility) from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The City of Eagle Point is considering a contract with Mary Bosch, doing business as Marketek, Inc., to assist with a retail market analysis and business development action plan. The council did not reach a conclusion, but a lengthy discussion showcased city government run at its best. Councilors and staff members tossed around ideas and thoughts and scenarios, with differing viewpoints garnering careful consideration. City Administrator Henry Lawrence cautioned that the city be certain of its niche, and not try to be all things to all people. He further reminded of the need to keep momentum going once a program is initiated. While eager to move ahead with economic development for Eagle Point, the city will proceed cautiously to avoid unwise spending of taxpayer funds entrusted to them. In the end, the council decided to seek more information, collectively and individually, and to weigh the pros and cons of timing and future implementation of whatever the report would yield.
Staff members’ reports showed that: RVACT (Rogue Valley Area Commission on Transportation) met, and Eagle Point is now in number 5 position for funds; volunteers collected over 4,000 pounds of food for the local food bank; Eagle Point is now part of the Jackson County Enterprise Zone. Rob Miller, Public Works Director, summarized a water conservation meeting he attended. The city will work to tighten up procedures and facilities. The city will clean up Antelope Cemetery, a heritage property, to allow visitors. Chief of Police Vern Thompson reported that FEMA approved the hazard mitigation plan he submitted. And in a final note, the city now owns a piece of land that grants access to Lucas Park.
The next meeting will be Monday, February 25, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the council chambers at City Hall.