Parameters for “Date” ditch to be set

By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

At their meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 10, the Burns City Council appointed Martin Thompson Jr. to fill the seat vacated by the resignation of Ed O’Carroll.

Thompson was sworn in by City Clerk Dauna Wensenk, and took his place on the council.

Armin Williams had also submitted a letter of interest for the position.

The council set a public hearing for 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 24, to discuss the parameters for the ditch that runs through Burns, referred to as the “Date ditch.”

The council would like to see citizens start cleaning vegetation and debris out of the ditch, as well as removing fences, or making fences removable in the event of another high runoff year.

The ditch should be an average of two feet deep and seven feet wide throughout the city, and the deadline to get the ditch up to specifications is Oct. 15.

If the deadline passes and the ditch doesn’t conform to standards, the city will perform the work and there will be a cost to the property owner associated with the work.

City Manager Don Munkers stated that the council had been approached by the planning commission with a recommendation to amend the comprehensive plan to allow six-foot fences on the street-side of residences in some cases.

The council did agree to review the comp plan and see what changes should be made, but in the interim, a fence in question has been constructed.

Munkers said that fences in the front yard or street-side should be no higher than 48 inches if they are wire and 36 inches if they are board fences. Because some residents have violated the restrictions, the city will begin notifying the residents of the violation, and they will have 60 days to bring the fence into compliance.

“We’ve been forced into this and really don’t have a choice,” Munkers said. “We have to adhere to the comp plan.”

In other business:

• Munkers said the city is continuing their efforts to work out an intergovernmental agreement with Hines for police services. “We’d like to put this together in a short period of time,” he noted;

• the council reviewed a list of Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) license renewals, and voted to approve all but one on the list. The OLCC will investigate a concern about the one business not approved and then render a decision;

• Munkers stated that he had reviewed three responses he received from the request for proposal (RFP) for auditor services, and he recommended the city contract with Richard W. Donaca, CPA of Bend, noting that his proposal was about $4,000 less than the others. The council approved to go with Donaca as city auditor.

The next city council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24, at city hall.

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