By Randy Parks
Because of a lack of a quorum, the Hines Common Council was unable to conduct any official business at their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, March 25.
They did however, use the time to discuss several topics, including the fire contracts the city has with residents outside the city limits.
Three residents of Garland Acres, Ron and Beth Harding and John Ebar, were present to discuss the proposed Harney Basin Rural Fire District (HBRFD).
“We were shocked that the Rural Fire District would include us,” Beth Harding said, and added that they wanted to be excluded from the district.
The Hardings and Ebar felt the fire contracts they currently have with the city provide sufficient fire coverage and could see no benefit to being included in the HBRFD.
Fire Chief Bob Spence said he saw no problem responding to Garland Acres because they have a mutual aid agreement with the Burns Fire Department. “We need their trucks if there is a fire there,” Spence said.
Following further discussion, Beth Harding asked, “If we (Garland Acres) are removed and the Rural Fire District is formed, would you honor the contracts?”
Mayor Ruth Schultz answered, “Yes.”
Bill Jennings was in attendance to give an update on the benches he was building for the city. Jennings said he had talked to the people who are taking down the L-1 shed, and they said he could have some of the wood from the dismantling if the benches would be placed in the city park.
Jennings said the benches are finished, and he asked the council if they would consider placing them by the eagle statue on the south side of city hall. Jennings added that he incorporated a picture history of the sawmill on the benches.
Police Chief Randy Cook reported Ryan DeLange was resigning his position to go to work for the sheriff’s office.
Cook also told the council he had hoped to get their approval of the county’s “Use of Deadly Force Investigation Guidelines,” which had been mandated by Senate Bill 111 and written by a local planning authority team.
Cook said the guidelines needed to be returned to Attorney General’s office by March 31.
The two council members present, Loren Emang and Crimson Presley, both voiced their approval. Councilor Nikki Morgan was reached by phone and said she would vote in favor as well. The city said they would contact the other councilors the following day to get their votes, because of the short time frame.
Spence told the council he has had three new new volunteers for the fire department.
The next meeting of the Hines Common Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 8, at city hall.