More citizens needed for Neighborhood Watch
By Randy Parks
One of the first orders of business for the Burns City Council at their regular meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 9, was to swear in the councilors and mayor who won races in the November election.
City Clerk Dauna Wensenk administered the oath of office to councilors Dan Hoke, Bill Renwick and Terri Presley and Mayor Craig LaFollette.
Hoke and Renwick were both re-elected, while Presley and LaFollette were elected for the first time to their current positions after having been previously appointed to fill vacancies.
City Manager (CM) Don Munkers reported that the city is continuing to work with the state fire marshal on getting the fire suppression system in at the municipal airport.
Munkers said the only hurdle left to cross is the type of system that is being proposed and how that affects where the fire hydrants are placed. The city is proposing a dry barrel, or pressurized, system, while the state is basing hydrant placement on the criteria for a dry hydrant system. The major issue is the proximity of fire equipment to the hydrant. Munkers added that the dry barrel system is what is used in town.
Councilor Presley reported that they are still working on getting a Neighborhood Watch program organized, but they need more community involvement. “We need to get more people interested. There are some who want it, but if we don’t get more people involved, we can’t do it,” she said.
Councilor Hoke expressed some concerns about snow being plowed against the new cemetery fence. “I was under the impression that the snow would be plowed away from the fence, and it’s on it now. I’m not sure the fence can support it.”
Public Works Director Dave Cullens said he didn’t think there was any damage to the fence, and he would take a look at the areas near the gate and the concrete wall to make sure the fence was OK.
In other business:
• CM Munkers reported they are still waiting to hear from their insurance company and the League of Oregon Cities regarding using ATVs on city streets. They are looking into whether the city would be covered if an ATV is involved in an accident, as they are not licensed vehicles;
• the council approved Resolution No. 13-561, regarding changes to the budget to account for unanticipated revenue. CM explained that the county had agreed to pay for half of the cemetery fence, up to $20,000, and even though the cost came in less, the county still gave the city the full amount. The resolution placed the $20,000 into the proper lines of the budget;
• Richard Donaca, CPA, reviewed the audit for the year ended June 30, 2012, with the council, and said there were no issues. “The staff does a great job,” Donaca said. “This is the kind of report you want to hear from an auditor. No bad news.”
The next council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, at city hall.