Rural Fire Suppression Program gets 76 subscribers

By Samantha White
Burns Times-Herald

At the meeting of the Hines Common Council, held Tuesday, Oct. 9, Police Chief Ryan DeLange said the department received $2,000 for a City of Hines 2012 – 2013 Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII) Traffic Safety Grant and $500 for a 2012 – 2013 Safety Belt Traffic Safety Grant. The city of Burns is also disbursing a share of its 2011 – 2012 Seat Belt Traffic Safety Grant to the Hines department in the amount of $1,080. The grants will be used to pay police overtime, as they enforce DUII and seat belt laws. The council decided to accept the grants and will use them for their intended purposes.

City Administrator Joan Davies announced that 76 people subscribed to the Rural Fire Suppression Program, allowing Hines Volunteer Fire Department representatives to schedule charges and rates for the delivery of emergency and non-emergency services to these properties.

Davies and Secretary Ramona Hofman plan to drive to each of the properties in order to photograph them. They also plan to photograph public and private signs near the properties, which will help fire fighters locate them. They will also note any nuisance abatement issues that they encounter, fix misspellings on road signs and replace missing signs while they are on their trip. Fire Chief Bob Spence suggested they also note any potential hazards that might make it difficult for emergency vehicles to access the properties, and Davies agreed do that. She added that Hofman will be driving, and she requested that her gas mileage be reimbursed. The council approved the reimbursement.

Mayor Nikki Morgan said the city has $2,838 in Citycounty Insurance Services Risk Management Incentives funds, which can be used to help create a safer environment for the city, and she provided a list of items that were purchased by other cities with these funds. Morgan said she wants to use the funds to purchase a wheelchair-accessible door for the front entrance to City Hall, stating that it would make it easier for people with disabilities to access the building.

Two council members said fixing the door would “open a can of worms” because many repairs are needed to get the building up to Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance standards. They explained that the building was “grandfathered in,” and installing a new door might cause the city to be required to make multiple, costly updates to the building.

Morgan asked those present to consider how they would like to use the available funds, and the discussion was tabled until the next meeting.

Chelsea Harrison received a business license for Highlander Yard Care, a landscape maintenance business. She then lent her expertise to a nuisance abatement discussion regarding overgrown thistles on a large lot. The thistles have spread to neighboring properties. The council determined that the weeds should be sprayed, rather than burned or mowed, and decided to ask the owner to commit to spraying the weeds in the spring. Morgan said she will refer the owner to Highlander Yard Care if assistance is needed.

In other business the council:

• discussed the redesignation of flood zones;

• heard a report from Superintendent of Public Works Pedro Zabala who said park bathrooms will be closed when weather conditions worsen;

• announced that the city raised more than $3,000 by recycling cans, which were donated by people in the community. Proceeds from the fund raiser, which was started by Morgan and Councilor Dick Baird, will be used to finance park improvements, including building a bathroom near the City of Hines Pavilion;

• approved the contractor’s plan to begin construction on a sidewalk that will extend 20 feet from the pavilion, winding past the benches and tying into the street. The sidewalk will grant easier access to the pavilion for people with disabilities. The contractor will begin pouring concrete for the sidewalk between Oct. 22 and 26;

• decided to purchase four, eight-sided picnic tables to be placed near the pavilion. The council said the octagonal picnic tables will be easier for people with disabilities to access than traditional, rectangular tables and will seat more people. They are also heavier than traditional tables, making them harder to steal;

• donated the remaining $134 needed to reimburse the organizations and individuals who purchased meals for about 300 people participating in the Cannonball Run, an annual cross-country motorcycle trip that is mostly made up of vintage motorcycle riders from around the world. The riders stopped in Hines this year and plan to stop again next year if their main rally is anywhere near the city.
“It’s money well spent,” Baird said. “I thought it was great.” He explained that riders patronized local businesses, including the city’s two large hotels, which were full;

• heard a report from DeLange who said the police department needs to hire a third officer part-time in order to relieve officers who are sick or on vacation. He said the officer must be certified and that officers must work a certain number of hours in order to maintain their certification. The council suggested in a previous meeting that DeLange attempt to borrow an officer from another department. DeLange reported that representatives from the other departments said they cannot spare an officer.

Davies said the city could advertise for a part-time, certified officer to join the department. The council decided to place an ad in the Burns Times-Herald and post a listing with the Oregon Employment Department.

DeLange also reported that 25-30 new stuffed animals were donated. DeLange told Fire Chief Spence that the toys could be given to children who lose their homes in house fires;

• appointed positions for the National Incident Management System (NIMS) emergency response team. NIMS is a comprehensive, national approach to emergencies that involve multiple jurisdictions, levels of government, functional agencies and emergency responders. The council decided to appoint whoever is currently serving as the city administrator, superintendent of public works, fire chief and police chief to be the NIMS implementation coordinator, maintenance department coordinator, fire department coordinator and police department coordinator, respectively;

• changed its meeting time from 6 to 7 p.m.

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