Hines budget shows decline

Posted on May 30th in News

Hines pavilion nears completion

By Demian Cushing
Burns Times-Herald

Indications of declining revenues were made clear by the proposed budget numbers submitted to the City of Hines at the Hines Common Council meeting Tuesday, May 22, by members of the budget committee in its second draft of the “budget document.” As previously reported, the total submission for the 2012-13 fiscal year represents a 14.6 percent reduction from a year ago, totaling $1,793,294.

The drive to balance expenses with revenues will continue to play a major role in the upcoming weeks as City Adminstrator (CA) Joan Davies recommended a final budget meeting for June 26 following the receipt and review of contributions from Harney County, which Davies stated should be on her desk before June 12.

As an order of business within the regular meeting of the Hines Common Council, which immediately followed the Hines Budget Committee meeting, the detailed budget document presented by budget committee president Dag Robinson and his subordinates was tentatively approved.

Councilor Tom Choate announced during department head reports that actual construction of the new Hines pavilion would be complete by May 23. The Common Council followed up by awarding Central Oregon Electric the contract for the power, as that company submitted the lowest bid.

Mayor Nikki Morgan remarked that it was beautiful and looked forward to future weddings being held under its roof.

“Our pavilion looks so nice,” exclaimed councilor Hilda Allison. It was noted that no city moneys were used to erect the pavilion, and that special thanks should be given to Choate Construction, Great Basin Construction, Darby Kemper, the Ford Foundation as well as the many volunteers that made its construction possible. “The community deserves a thank you,” said Councilor Dick Baird remarking on the “sore bodies” of all the volunteers who stepped up on behalf of their city.

In Fire Chief Bob Spence’s absence, CA Davies spoke about a rollover accident that critically wounded a driver near Fields in which Spence and three of his volunteers assisted.

Also reporting was Sergeant Ryan DeLange for the Hines Police Department, who spoke about how busy things were for him and officer Matt Githens. In response to citizens’ complaints concerning excessive speed by drivers coming down the hill on King Street, and after some review of jurisdictional maps of the area, DeLange stated that observation in this particular area is increasing.

Councilors Allison, Baird and Dick Anderson commended DeLange on behalf of the citizens who have noticed the increased visibility and responsiveness of his department. “We’re busy,” DeLange responded.

Maintenance Supervisor Pedro Zabala stated that city crews remained busy with sewer repairs and lawn maintenance in the numerous parks. He also stated that the aging tractor mower his crew is currently using will need to be watched carefully as equipment of its age is susceptible to break down even with the diligent care his department imparts.

Budget committee member Roy Crafts noted that the proposed budget included funds for a replacement mower and asked if having two mowers would help Zabala’s crew. “No,” Zabala said, “and we don’t have anyplace to store this new tractor.” It was made clear that the funds would remain available but the time it would take to find a replacement for the potentially broken mower may prove to take a long time.

In other business:

• the council approved two new business licenses, the first for Kenneth Thomas’ venture, Ken Thomas Real Estate LLC; the second for Sally Allen and her new business, Shabby Shack, a thrift and gift shop soon to be open on Highway 20;

• donation requests were discussed on behalf of three different local groups. The council approved a $150 donation to the “Our Community Flag Fund,” which displays a 30-foot by 50-foot flag in front of ACW in Hines. The council also approved a $100 donation to the Kiwanis Fireworks Display Committee. One donation request was tabled until a later time, that for an educational field trip to ports of call around Europe for a few Harney County students. The trip is scheduled for May of 2013. This fact combined with the limited funds of this budget item as well as the limited reach of this donation request contributed to the delay of further discussion;

• the council heard and approved a request made by councilor Choate to move common council meeting times forward one hour from 7 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 12, at Hines City Hall.

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