Water Issues in Eagle Point

Water was the main topic of discussion at the August 27,Eagle Point City Council meeting. For most of man’s recorded history, water issues have held sway, with ownership and distribution sometimes sparking armed conflict. In Eagle Point, however, folks just want to turn on their faucets inside or hoses outside and have a steady supply of H2O. A while back, the city contracted Civil West Engineering Services, Inc. to evaluate the system and update the master plan, a legal requirement for municipalities. The results showed a number of problems. That came as no surprise, however, since some decisions were based on economics or in trying to predict the future. In a few instances, the fixes merely “made do.” According to Garrett Pallo owner of Civil West Engineering, however, that’s not all bad because the current setup facilitates several options for solutions.

Pallo handed out the thick final report and explained the critical priorities—things that need to be done to equalize pressure and provide adequate water to all customers, whether for home/business use or for fire protection. A new tank is in the offing. The report ranked other matters high priorities. All will take time and city staff is working hard on financing. The study offers information regarding problems and resolutions, but does not force the city to do anything and allows flexibility as growth occurs. Pallo answered questions, and after some discussion, the council agreed to adopt the 2013 Water System Master Plan. The city will now move forward, and as always, monitor and evaluate the systems on an ongoing basis.

Eagle Point and other small, regional communities make up the outside customer group of the Medford Water Commission. Representatives of those communities have been meeting informally and now wish to take that involvement a step further by forming a group whose purpose will be to develop water resources strategies for the benefit of the region. They would deal with water conservation, coordination on water rights to prevent under/over acquisition and appropriation, and regional collaboration, cooperation and uniformity. The presentation by Administrator Henry Lawrence and Joe Stahl was for information purposes only. The council gave its nod of approval to the process.

The council also accepted the appointment of Elizabeth Bilden and Michael Stanek to fill vacancies on the Eagle Point Parks and Recreation Commission.

The council met in special session before its regular meeting and reviewed amendments to the Rules of City Council, a periodic requirement. The changes either provided clarification or added language necessitated by new technologies. The council adopted the amended rules.

Citizen Dennis Mihocko addressed the group about forming an Eagle Point Parks Foundation, and received favorable feedback and a go-ahead. The foundation’s purpose would be to secure funds for park related projects.

Several people had favorable comments about the recent street dance. Mayor Russell spoke with enthusiasm about the Mayor’s Conference he attended, saying he always appreciates the opportunity to talk with other mayors and see what goes on in their communities. According to Finance Officer Melissa Owens, the city now has new computers, a budgeted expense. Given technology’s rapid pace, the old units had outlived their usefulness and capabilities.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for September 10 in the City Council Chambers.

By Lynn Leissler

For the Independent



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