Plan approved to upgrade streetlights on North Broadway
by Randy Parks
Looking to increase the amount of fuel storage at the Burns Municipal Airport, Airport Manager Jeff Cotton asked the city council for permission to apply for a fuel truck through the General Services Administration (GSA) program.
Cotton told the council at their regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 11, there were currently two vehicles available through GSA. One has a 2,500 gallon tank, and the other a 6,000 gallon tank.
Cotton said he would prefer to get the larger tank as that would allow him to have more fuel on site during fire season when demand is high, and he could also order a full load of fuel to be delivered to the airport, resulting in a lower price.
Cotton explained that while he can submit a request for the vehicles, there is no guarantee one will be awarded to the airport. There is no cost for the vehicle if one is awarded to the city, but the city would have to pay for getting the vehicle to the airport. The preferred vehicle is in Palmdale, Calif., so the only expense to the city would be getting someone to the truck and driving it back to Burns.
The council agreed to allow Cotton to put in for the vehicles, and if neither is awarded, to continue searching for a fuel truck through the GSA program.
Public Works Director Dave Cullens requested permission to use $6,544 from his budget to upgrade the streetlights on North Broadway. He said they would put in LED lights that provide better lighting while using less energy, and Oregon Trail Electric Co-op would help pay for a portion of the project. The LED lights would replace 16 of the lights currently being used.
The council approved the request.
Mayor Craig LaFollette stated in the absence of a city manager, everybody has stepped up to help get work done, and he thanked them. He then proposed additional pay for Interim City Manager/City Clerk Dauna Wensenk and Municipal Judge/Utilities Clerk Dawn Crafts. The proposal was for an additional $500 a month for Wensenk and an additional $100 a month for Crafts until the time a city manager is in place.
The council unanimously approved the proposal.
The council reviewed two donation requests, one from the Harney County Opportunity Team (HCOT) for the Arrowhead Plaza project, and the other from the Nadzitsaga Lacrosse Club.
Councilor Terri Presley stated when a donation request is made, she would like a representative from the group to attend the council meeting.
“It would be nice to have someone here to answer questions, if we have any. It’s a courtesy thing,” Presley said.
After some discussion, a motion was made to donate $100 to HCOT and $50 to Nadzitsaga. The motion passed on a 6-1, with Presley voting no.
In other business:
• the council approved Resolution 15-591 A, affecting changes to the 2014-2015 budget moving funds from the water and sewer fund to the airport fund for the fire suppression project, and clarifying the well developed for the fire suppression project is the capital asset of the water and sewer fund;
• the council discussed Resolution No. 15-595 that establishes fees for medical marijuana dispensaries. Before approving the resolution, the council decided they needed clarification on the fee schedule, and tabled the discussion until they could talk with their legal counsel;
• Councilor Presley told the council the Capital Improvement Plan at the airport included putting up a structure to house snow removal equipment at a cost of $500,000. She explained that $450,000 would be Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) funds, and the other $50,000 would be a local match. Presley explained that one of the conditions of using the funds to build the structure was that the city then agreed to purchase new snow removal equipment within the next five years. She recommended the city take building the structure out of the plan for now, as there was no guarantee of getting grants to fund a new equipment purchase. The council agreed;
• the council appointed Wensenk budget officer for the 2015-2016 fiscal year;
• Burns Police Officer Robby Tiller reported that he and Blaze, the drug dog, passed the training held in Mountain Home, Idaho, and received their certification.
The next Burns Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, at city hall.