Donations sought for cemetery flag project
By Randy Parks
An additional fire truck may cost the Burns Fire Department more than they had originally planned, but it’s still a good deal.
With the rural fire protection subscription program expected to increase their workload, Fire Chief Scott Williamson received permission from the city council to bid on two trucks up for auction from a California department, with the hopes of getting one of them.
The council approved a maximum bid of $25,000 at their meeting in September, but at the council meeting on Oct. 10, Williamson said the bids were already up to $26,000 and $27,000 for the trucks.
The trucks are both 1991 models with low miles and good service records. Williamson said either truck would be ideal for their needs, and there aren’t too many trucks of this sort available.
Williamson told the council that his department could come up with $20,000 and asked to borrow $20,000 from the city that would be paid back over the next four years. He added that the $40,000 would be the absolute “cut-off price.”
The council voted to allow Williamson to bid up to $40,000 for one of the trucks as it would still be a good value and benefit to the city.
Councilor Terri Presley asked if the city could begin digging the holes next to the new cemetery fence that will be used to put up the U.S. flags on specific holidays. She noted that it would be good to get the holes dug while the weather is nice.
The city plans to cement segments of the poles from the old cemetery fence into the holes and then slide PVC into the segments. The brackets for the flags can then be attached to the PVC.
The council discussed whether CPVC might be better choice as it would last longer.
City Manager (CM) Don Munkers said expenditures for the project, cement and CPVC pipe, would come to about $300 to $400 and that wasn’t budgeted for.
Presley suggested they ask for donations, and if anyone would like to make a donation they should contact Rod Presley at 541-573-2579.
The council reviewed a letter from Wayne Baron of 4R Recycling Services requesting a hearing for permission to pick up and recycle materials from commercial sites in Burns.
CM Munkers said Baron had already placed collection bins around town in violation of city code and had also violated residential zoning restrictions. He added that Baron was advised he needs a business license from the city, and on Sept. 17, Baron was issued a “cease-and-desist” order.
Citing Baron’s “flagrant disregard” for the city’s regulations, Munkers recommended the council deny the request for a hearing.
After some discussion, the council voted to deny the request for a hearing until Baron comes into compliance with current city codes.
In other business:
• CM Munkers stated they will be submitting a grant proposal to the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) for a number of sidewalk projects. The ODOT funds will be distributed to selected projects in 2016. There has also been some discussion about extending the school zone near Burns High School and adding a school crossing light;
• the council approved a request to close East A Street between Broadway and Alder on Saturday, Oct. 20, for a children’s hay maze and pumpkin patch;
• the council voted to adopt the Strategic Plan presented by the Community Response team;
• Raymond Tiller asked if the council would consider an ordinance to allow four-wheelers on city streets in Burns. The council agreed they would look into it.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at city hall.