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Bud Garland talks to council about purchasing the subdivision’s system
By Samantha White
In the meeting of the Hines Common Council, held Tuesday, Nov. 27, F.H. “Bud” Garland said he is the only person who is familiar with the system that provides water to residents of the Garland Acres Subdivision.
Garland expressed concern that no one would know how to manage the system in his absence. He said this is why he would like to sell the water system.
“It’s a very good system,” Garland said. “It has basically been trouble-free. It ties in beautifully with the city of Hines.”
He added that the setup is ideally located for the city of Hines, but would also work well for the city of Burns.
Garland explained that water is supplied to residents of Garland Acres via two wells that are connected to a 30,000-gallon storage reservoir. The wells serve 30 hookups, which provide water to houses in the area. Garland said the system is capable of supporting an additional 15 hookups, and he added that some lots in the area have been sold as an investment, but have not been built on yet.
“I still own a lot of land … all within the urban growth boundary,” he added.
Garland said a test pump was conducted on the lower well, which is used as a back-up well and set on a timer to kick in whenever the reservoir gets low. He said the well pumped 1,000 gallons of water a minute, and he added that the person who drilled the well said that the water is “the most pure water of any well in Harney County.” Garland said it is possible that the well could pump even more water, but a larger pump would be needed.
Councilor Brent Drury asked how much money Garland is looking to get for the system. Garland replied that he did not have a figure, but that he would like to recoup the money that he invested into it. He said he has been working with Tim Riley of Western Drilling to estimate what it would cost to drill, service, seal and otherwise develop and maintain one of the existing wells today. Garland said Riley determined that the cost would almost total $25,000. He suggested that the city look to federal grants to help pay for the water system.
“When it comes to infrastructure with the city, there are a lot of federal grants,” Garland said.
Mayor Nikki Morgan asked Garland if he would be willing to give the city time to apply for grants.
“I have no timeline,” Garland said. “I can make no demands. This is your ball game. I hope you will look toward the future.”
Morgan said, “We will get back to you on that,” and City Administrator Joan Davies took a copy of Riley’s estimate, which was offered by Garland.
Davies reported that the city of Hines, the city of Burns and Harney County completed and submitted its application for a $1,042,663 grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). She explained that the proposed project will cost $1,162,000, but the cities of Hines and Burns and the county will be required to match 10.27 percent of the project funds, which will amount to $119,337. However, the three entities decided to divide the cost evenly among them. Thus, the city of Hines will only be responsible for providing one third of the required matching funds. Davies reminded the council that it would need to set aside this money if the grant is awarded. But, if approved, the project would not be funded until 2017, giving the city three budget years to save for its contribution.
If awarded, the grant would be used to apply an eight-inch-wide asphalt surface to the nature trail that runs between Hines and Burns. Additionally, a sidewalk would be built along the north end of the path (along the south side of West Pierce Street to U.S. Highway 395/20). A wheelchair-accessible ramp would be built onto the existing sidewalk on the west side of U.S. Highway 395/20. Additionally, a new sidewalk would be built along Barnes Avenue (on the east and west sides of U.S. Highway 395/20) to Hines Middle School (HMS) and then north along North Saginaw Avenue and Burns High School, then along Hines Boulevard and on to the existing sidewalk on U.S. Highway 395/20, tying into the new crosswalk on West Pierce street and completing the circle. In short, the project will connect a large circle of sidewalks and a walking path through both cities.
“The focus of the project is the safety of the people who walk to school and the wheelchair traffic,” Davies said.
She said construction work for the project will be open for bid if the grant is received.
Councilor Dick Anderson said, “I would like to see someone local get it,” in regards to the potential construction project.
Davies also reported that the deadline to apply for the open city police officer position was Nov. 27. She said the city received five applications for the certified police officer position, but none of the applicants are certified. Davies suggested that the city also open the position to non-certified applicants.
Morgan said, “We have time for [the police officer] to go to the academy,” suggesting that the city hire a non-certified officer, allow him or her to receive on-the-job training and then send the officer to the police academy to get certified.
Police Chief Ryan DeLange said, “The state pays for the academy,” explaining that the city would not have to pay for the certification training.
However, Morgan said that the city would have to pay the officer’s wages while he or she attended the academy, which is 16 weeks long. But she said that the city would be able to choose when to send the officer to the academy.
Councilor Tom Choate expressed concern that the officer might “move on” after he or she is trained. Morgan agreed that some people “use small towns as stepping stones.”
Councilor Drury suggested that the city re-post the position, maintaining the certification requirement.
Morgan expressed concern that it may take months or even years to fill the position with a certified officer.
Councilor John Mims suggested that the city re-post the position with police certification listed as a preference, but not a requirement, and the council agreed to do so.
Police Chief DeLange reported that two vehicles were broken into in Hines, and four vehicles were broken into in Burns in the last few days. He said police are investigating the issue.
DeLange also reported that the meeting held Nov. 14, to discuss Eastern Oregon Academy (EOA) was well-attended. He said those in attendance discussed the possibility of using a holding cell to hold youth who run away from EOA, as well as juveniles in the community (as needed) overnight, as there is currently no jail for juveniles.
DeLange also reported that Officer Matt Githens arrested a person for allegedly stealing some of the cans and bottles that have been donated to raise funds for the city of Hines.
Councilor Dick Anderson said he observed people driving near HMS with frost on their vehicles’ windows, which was obstructing their view. He asked DeLange whether this was legal. DeLange said that it is illegal to drive with an obstructed view. The council suggested that DeLange remind the public of the dangers of driving with frost on their windows.
Drury suggested that DeLange ask the principal of HMS to remind students to push the button at the highway crossing to turn on the warning lights before they cross.
Morgan reported that a 2009 Dodge Charger has been purchased for the Hines Police Department at a cost of $8,300. She said the value of the vehicle and its equipment is $25,300.
Fire Chief Bob Spence reported that the department received four calls since the previous meeting. He said that one call was for a structure fire in Burns. However, when firefighters arrived at the scene, they found that a man was burning furniture in the front lawn, and the structure was not on fire.
Spence said an additional call was made when a house filled with smoke. He explained that a tea kettle was placed on the wood stove to add humidity to the air, but the kettle was filled with potpourri that caught on fire.
Spence reported that there was a grease fire in the kitchen of the Old Camp Casino. The casino is now closed.
He said the department was also called when a semi-truck rolled over on the Crane-Buchanan Road, about four miles south of Buchanan. He said a passenger with a broken leg was trapped in the truck, but she was able to get out on her own before responders arrived at the scene.
In other business, the council:
• heard a report of Superintendent of Public Works Pedro Zabala who said that the department has been cleaning out sewer lines. He reported that there was some back-up in a resident’s garage and driveway, and the owner has since removed a tree, which may have been causing problems with the sewer line;
• approved a business license for Larry Larkin for Larry D. Larkin Towing. Larkin said his final plan is to take over Burns Towing. He said he currently has one tow truck — which can be used to tow cars, pickups and camp trailers — but he would like to get a larger tow truck that can be used to tow semi-trucks. He said, for now, he will conduct business on the same lot that was used by Burns Towing, but he plans to get a larger lot that is fenced in;
• discussed the health of the deer population in the city. Some of the council members said that people need to stop feeding processed food to the deer because it is bad for their diets. Zabala said that he saw two fawns who were in poor health and looked like they needed to be “put down.” DeLange said that the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) is looking for deer that need to be “put down” and that he would keep in contact with ODFW about the issue. Drury said he had been discussing plans to clean up property by Peter French Avenue and plant seed to create a healthy deer habitat;
• heard a report from Davies regarding the Last Chance Christmas Bazaar, which will be held in council chambers Dec. 15, from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. “There will be everything from afghans to five-minute massages,” Davies said. Davies also reported that the city of Hines will be judging a city-wide holiday lights contest, and Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative will award prizes for first, second and third place;
• changed the official council meeting time to 6:30 p.m. for the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Since Dec. 25 (Christmas Day), is the fourth Tuesday in December, there may not be a second meeting this month, depending on agenda needs.