Eagle Point Council looks at water debt

Suzie Collins, representing the Community Association, brought two items to the attention of the Eagle Point City Council at its March 26 meeting. First, she mentioned the Easter egg hunt, noting it would be over in a flash as the eagle-eyed little searchers found their quarry. And second, she announced the theme for this year’s Fourth of July celebration—Made in America.

The Council moved on to business and approved three citizen members to vacancies on the Budget Committee: Jerry Zieman for a three-year term, Michael Stanek and Ken Gruenwald for two-year terms.

For 21 consecutive years Eagle Point has earned the designation as a Tree City USA. Arbor Week in Oregon is April 7-13, and the Council approved a resolution proclaiming April 10 as Arbor Day in Eagle Point. Activities start at 10 AM in Ponderosa Park (201 Echo Way).

As its next order of business, the Council passed a resolution authorizing an agreement with the Little Butte Creek Watershed Council to locate a native plant nursery at the public works yard on South Shasta. The Watershed Council obtained a grant for the greenhouse through the Meyer Memorial Trust, and help from Middle Rogue Steelheaders. The city will pitch in water and electricity. A greenhouse allows plants for local use and a setting for educational venues.

City Administrator Henry Lawrence and the Councilors discussed at length whether to authorize an outside study of Eagle Point’s water system. Lawrence indicated that the system is good, but the master plan is 13 years old. Funds are depleting rapidly due to needed facility repairs, and revenue lags behind expenditures. Anticipated SDCs (System Development Charges—new home construction costs for setting up water and sewer, etc.) haven’t materialized due to the faltering economy, and rates haven’t been adjusted in several years. No one denied the need to look at the water system funding, but expressed differing views on the best use of resources, both human and financial—the cost of an outside review vs. the intensive time requirement of an already busy financial director. The Council requested more information and voted to table the decision until its April 23 meeting.

Principal Planner Mike Upston spoke of an expanded Enterprise Zone, and Financial Director Melissa Owens told everyone to check out the expanded City of Eagle Point web page, which includes community events.

The rest of the Councilors and staff reported attendance at their various commissions and committees. For the moment, the city and the county seem to be running smoothly.

The Council will reconvene on April 9 in the City Council Chambers.



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