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City supports fund-raising effort for theatre
by Randy Parks
For those citizens wondering if ATVs will be allowed on city streets, the question remains up in the air.
Burns City Manager (CM) Don Munkers told the city council at their meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 12, that an ordinance had been drafted, but it’s on hold until it can be looked over by the city’s insurance carrier.
Burns is one of a number of cities exploring the possibility of allowing ATVs on city streets, and there are still a lot of questions to be answered.
During his manager’s report, Munkers said the city has applied for an additional grant for the fire suppression system at the municipal airport and it is moving forward with the project. He added that fuel sales at the airport are doing very well.
The city’s Christmas tree lighting, bonfire and parade was held on Dec. 8, and Munkers thanked the public works department, the Harney County Chamber of Commerce and everyone involved for a job well done.
Munkers said the city had been approached about possibly helping to get a grant for the Desert Historic Theatre to purchase new equipment. He reminded the council that any monies would have to go through a 501(c)3 (non-profit), but the city would help in any way it could. “It’s very important we do everything we can to keep that theatre open,” Munkers said.
Jen Hoke, executive director of the Harney County Chamber of Commerce, was at the meeting to give an update on the chamber’s activities.
She noted that Burns High School senior Seth Campbell is spearheading the effort to raise funds for the theatre and has made it his senior project. She recommended that anyone wanting to contribute should go through him to “keep it all together.”
Hoke thanked City Clerk Dauna Wensenk, CM Munkers, and the city for their work on the Christmas Jamboree, and said it was a success.
As for upcoming events, Hoke said the annual awards banquet will be held Jan. 26, and tickets will go on sale the first week of January. The theme for the banquet is “Winter Wonderland.”
The John Scharff Migratory Bird Festival is scheduled for April 11-14. Hoke said the keynote speaker for this year’s event is Greg Butcher, director of bird conservation for the National Audubon Society.
Hoke also reviewed the downtown revitalization project and noted the new Harney County posters are out and available for purchase.
The council addressed the recycling issue regarding Wayne Baron’s request to operate a recycling business in the city.
Rodd Dinsmore of C&B Sanitary Service, the franchisee for the city, told the council they are offering recycling and taking the product to Rimrock Recycling. He said they have eight containers out now to collect recyclables, and Rimrock is working on a grant to purchase more containers.
In a related issue, Munkers reported the city had received a letter from Baron asking for an exemption under the municipal code to allow him to set up an additional recycling business.
The council agreed that Baron should present them with a business plan before making a decision on allowing the exemption.
In other business:
• the council voted to declare an emergency and purchase a new heat pump for city hall at a cost of no more than $7,500;
• Councilor Dan Hoke commended Public Works Director Dave Cullens, the American Legion and Councilor Terri Presley on coming up with a solution for placing flags on the cemetery fence;
• Rich Streeter, executive director of Eastern Oregon Academy (EOA), told the council he planned to attend more council meetings, and if any councilors had questions or concerns, they could contact him any time.
The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 9.