Transfers from other funds give city the amount needed for project

By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

It would appear the City of Hines has the funds available to move forward with constructing the gazebo in the city park.

At its meeting on Tuesday, June 28, the Hines Common Council voted to transfer $8,297.59 from the police reserve fund and $223.12 from the charitable donations fund, giving the gazebo fund a little more than the estimated $17,000 for the project.

Mayor Nikki Morgan explained that funding for the police reserves was already in the budget, and the city was going to be taking over the operation of Obsidian Days, so they could move the money to another budget item, such as the gazebo.

As for the money for charitable donations, City Administrator Joan Davies explained they couldn’t roll that money over, so the council elected to use it for the gazebo as well.

Hines Maintenance Supervisor Pedro Zabala discussed with the council the amount of comp time his department accrues throughout the year.

Zabala explained to the council that most of the overtime they get is when they’re called out on weekends and during winter months.

There are only three employees on the maintenance staff, and many of the jobs they are called out on require at least two men to perform. “So if we’re supposed to have days off, and there’s an emergency, we have to go out on it,” Zabala said.

Zabala also recommended that the city charge for after-hour calls as many other cities do.

After some discussion, the council agreed to see if they could work out an arrangement with the City of Burns Public Works Department to help out in some way.

Wayne Baron gave a presentation on a composting operation he is trying to get started.

Baron stated that it would be a portable operation, able to go to communities in Harney and Grant counties, as well as northern Nevada to process organic materials into compost.

Baron is trying to work with several cities, as well as federal agencies, to secure the amount of feedstock the operation would need to be sustainable.

The operation in Harney County would be located on 160 acres south of Wright’s Point, but a collection point for feedstock would be set up closer to town.

The business would involve a $275,000 start-up cost, and Baron said if the cities, counties and agencies would commit their support, it might help to secure a loan or grant.

In other business:

• the council approved a request from the Safe Kids coalition to set up a table at the Hines skate park to sell bike helmets. Police Chief Randy Cook added that officers often carry helmets with them  in the car, and if they see a rider without a helmet, they’ll give them a helmet to wear. Cook also stated that if officers spot a biker wearing a helmet, they can reward them with a certificate for ice cream at Figaro’s Pizza;

• Linda Johnson invited the council to the Harney County Opportunity Team’s appreciation barbecue from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 8, at the community center;

• the council approved a business license for Chris Eder of Grandma’s Cedar Chest who is moving her business from North Broadway to its former location on Highway 20;

• the council approved an intergovernmental agreement for police services with the City of Burns.

The next Hines Common Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 12, at city hall.

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