Residents like current agreement with Burns police

By Randy Parks
Burns Times-Herald

The Hines Common Council held a special meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 30, to once again receive public input on the siting of the gazebo and police services for the city.

City Administrator Joan Davies presented a comparison of the two sites being considered for the gazebo, and then opened up the meeting for discussion.

JoAnn Hofman stated she’d like to see the gazebo built in the field south of city hall, as it would provide some distance from the playground area on the other side of the highway. “The adults deserve to have a park. Kids already have three,” she said.

There was some discussion about access to rest rooms, and the safety issue about kids running back and forth across the highway was again discussed.

Davies said a fence could be built along the highway to funnel foot traffic down to the crossing light, and the city could get help funding for the fence from City Insurance Services.

Regarding police services for the city, Mayor Nikki Morgan reviewed the proposals from the City of Burns and the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, and said a third option would be for Hines to have their own police force.

Several in attendance stated that the agreement Burns and Hines have currently seems to be working and they don’t see a reason to change.

Burns City Manager Don Munkers stated that there are four issues with the current agreement that would need to be addressed to keep services as they are.

Sheriff Dave Glerup said that the population of the county has been dropping in the past several years and if that trend continues, law enforcement at all levels will probably have to downsize.

Jack Gideon stated he keeps seeing taxes going up and it’s up to the city to, “manage our money in the best way possible.”

Mayor Morgan said there is no timetable for the council to make a decision, and she added that while the budget is a factor, service to residents is the foremost concern.

Davies also reviewed a proposal from SoundEarth Strategies to clean up the groundwater at the former Tim’s Time gas station on Hwy, 20 South.

Councilor Brent Drury said the company shouldn’t be allowed to put contaminated water into the sewer system or dump it on the ground, and the council voted to uphold the ordinance they recently passed to not allow any contaminants to be dumped onto the ground.

The council also voted to write a letter of support for the proposed expansion of Eastern Oregon Academy.

The next Hines Common Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Sept.13, at city hall.

One Response to “Hines continues discussion on police, gazebo”

  1. PMather Says:

    I am very concerned about the questionaire sent out to the citizens of Hines as it was said that leaving the Police Dept. as it is, with sharing the Chief of Police, was not an option. I have done some investigation and it is possible to do with a few clauses added that will protect the Chief of Police and deal with liability. It is my understanding that Burns Manager has addressed this with the Council and now all of a sudden it is not an option to leave it as it is. I know that before I retired one of the Council members was already in discussion with the Sheriff’s office about contracting Police services. I have a concern that the County is big enough without adding Hines to their patrol area, and we were told in the past that the County would not be able to do Ordinance Violations such as Dogs at Large and such. I am also under the understanding that most everyone that attended the Public Hearings want it to be kept the same as it is with getting the problems fixed. Why do you want to change something that has been working for both cities, and being a benefit to both cities, both monatarily and police coverage. I know that if you contract with either city there will be so many hours committed to policing Hines and that is a concern to me. I hope everyone in Hines and Burns express their opinions and don’t let a few decide what happens in our town. My vote is to keep things the same and just change the contract to fix the legal issues.

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