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Newport City Council discusses goals

Newport City Council Major Goal Session

Newport City Council
Major Goal Session

10:04am

City Councilor Mark Saelens suggests mission statement ought to be updated and put in a prominent place.

10:07pm
Police Chief Mark Miranda: Our police mission statement will be available by noon for council consideration. As for goals, we strive to live up to the city’s motto, to be the friendliest and respectful. I like living here and we all like living here. We’re committed to making Newport the best place to live and recreate. We also provide a good environment for economic development. We’re providing a service, but back it up, despite a ton of unfunded mandates handed down by the state. We’re also accredited which shows we’re committed to our goals. Our goals are in your packet to review. Some we can’t quite get to because of budget constraints.

Saelens: Your department needs vehicle replacement but may not be fast enough due to the abuse the vehicles with all in town driving and the harsh weather.
Miranda: We’ve been wanting to add a school resources officer.
Allen: If we put in as budget request see if the schools might be ready to contribute to it.
Miranda: Our school district doesn’t have the money. Schools are afraid they’ll have to fund all other city schools too.
Nebel: Let us in administration know your thoughts on this.
Busby: Drug detective addition. Still need it?
Miranda: Yes.
Busby: How is the drug dog doing?
Miranda: The dog will be retired within a year.
Johnson: What does a dog cost?
Miranda: Depends. Looking around ten thousand dollars fully trained. But more when you train the officer – bonding process with the dog.
Miranda: The dog is not an attack dog. Doesn’t need a bullet proof vest. Our next dog will be dual purpose – drug and protection.
Sawyer: How is your computer system doing?
Miranda: The jail has a new jail management system. They’ve extremely happy with it. Vendor lives here in town. Our city system is a boat anchor that should have been thrown overboard long ago. The new one would cost us around $70,000. It’s a good one. Solid. Could be developed strictly for us. Would dove-tail well with the jail management system at the county.
Sawyer: Cars.
Miranda: The Dodge Chargers aren’t working well. Lincoln City has SUV’s. SUV’s are best. Costs a little more but mileage is better than the Chargers.
Miranda: Looking at northside urban renewal district, could include consolidated facility with fire and police departments somewhere within the new north urban renewal district.
Nebel: It’s a long term goal.
Sawyer: Would like to see a professional fence erected around the department. Not ugly chain link.

Fire Department – Chief Phil Paige

* We’ve met some goals but not others. Council denied the one about inter-fire department agreement. But we still need to be accredidate the fire department as the police department has done. Fire Department should be funded at near the level of the police department. To get there we’d need 5 full time fire department personnel per shift.
* We also need to renovate our fire training facility. Remove more of the old wastewater plant to make more room for fire training. Classrooms, etc. Because the council nixed the regional fire coordination issue, the council took the fire department out of possibly getting into the lucrative ambulance service, which is now controlled by the private sector. Also monitoring the way we recruit volunteers.
* We need to review volunteer compensation package. I retire in June. Leaving that position open would accumulate money in the fire fund to hire a training officer and fire prevention officer. We have to start staffing up. We’ll have a retirement or two in the next year. Need to use those opportunities for staffing changes.
* As for the current fire station, it’s built on fill, so wouldn’t do so well in the case of an earthquake. A new one needs to be closer to the downtown. We need a new fire engine. I think it’s doable given the city budget.
* Need portable classroom at the fire training facility.
* Two new fire engines, two rescue and one staff vehicle should be done within five years.
* Need some remodeling of the Airport fire station.
* Fully funding the reserve fund for fire apparatus. Payments for the ladder truck and other equipment will be over within five years…those funds then could be aimed at other purchase needs.
* Get the fire department accredited.

Community Development – Derrick Tokos.

* May need outside brokers to help determine whether or how to dispose of surplus city properties.
* Making debit/credit cards okay to use for paying land use charges.
* City Council: Will be able to make their minds up on whether to establish a new north end urban renewal area.
* OMSI will be under construction in 2016 for new development at South Beach.
* Parking district along Bayfront will begin to come together better.
* New Parks and Rec master plan needed.
* Yaquina Bay Bridge replacement. Where will it be built…which alignment is best?
* Planning Commission will fully examine the north end urban renewal district before passing it along to the city council.
* Building fees were last adjusted in ’08.
* Sawyer: House up by the golf course and the golf course itself might need to be annexed into the city. Other rogue properties should be closely looked at.

Airport Director:
* Spencer: I’ll have a report for you soon.

Parks and Recreation: Jim Protiva
* Get the new pool built.
* Make only absolutely necessary repairs to the current pool to keep it going another two years before the new one is built next to the Recreation Center.
* Help solve parking challenges for parking around city hall.
* Partner with local agencies related to Tree City USA issues – forestry enhancement, etc.
* With new pool, enlist more regional swim meets – boost local economy.
* Work with Friends of the Parks and Recreation Department to build up funds for improvements.
* Must conduct new Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Current one is really old.
* Need to come up with “Big Wow” special events. We already have the Newport Marathon but we need other major national/regional events to bring visitors to the coast.

Library: Director Ted Smith
* In process of doing a library needs analysis.
* Install four more security video cameras. When installed, we’ll be covered in all blind areas.
* In the process of assessing upgrades to the current building. New one will be need down the road a ways but for now we’re doing low cost upgrades to walls, floors and reupholstering furniture. Library Foundation says will pledge up to a million dollars toward a new building when the time comes. But that’s a long way off.
* Removing some of the book shelves because library patrons are being squeezed.
* Looking to install large screen TV/Monitor in the community meeting room.
* Replace aging computers at the circulation desk.

Finance Director: Bob Gazewood, Interim Finance Director.
Will be reorganizing the finance department, improve reporting on where the city is financially, complying with retirement fund requirements, audits and other reports.

Infrastructure Task Force recommendations:
* Nebel – Summary…a number of assumptions and some holes in that report needing to be examined. One area key is all our various facilities, we have a lot of them. Insurance funding is 32-million dollars in value. 2% reinvestment in buildings = $600K per year in investing in those facilities.
* Infrastructure maintenance/replacement is higher than 2% a year on sewer and water facilities. Must invest more in our facilities. We need to figure out how to better investment in them. One problematic area is stormwater system. Need to get on that.
* Clear stormwater investments need to be built into future city budgets.
* Paying with bonding vs. pay as we go through rates…pay-go program the rates would have to be increased $32.67 to $47.74 next year, but would be lower if we used bonding. The bonding rates for next year will be based on a bonding approach which will cause future sewer and water rate increases to be considerably lower.
Allen: The infrastructure committee agrees with that…bonding, rather than pay as you go.
Spencer: Revenue bonds are okay if revenues available to pay back, so most water and sewer will be bond supported to spread out over longer time period. General Obligation bonds will be used for storm water facilities since incidental revenues won’t cover loans.
* Spencer: Once we get bonding program going, the rate increases will be lower than earlier suggested.

* Spencer: City needs to re-assess rate schedule on residential vs commercial users. Need rate study to be done. Then tie in educational materials that appear in the monthly bills.
* Next fiscal year we’ll finalize wastewater master plan. Will help us go forward on it. Then storm water master plan. We’re really in the dark right now on the system as a whole.
* Need to do that rate study. Are we allocating costs where they’re being created?
* System Development Charges will also have to be part of it.
* We need an updated master plan first as a roadmap for improvements.

2:24pm
* Spender Nebel: Is there an interest of bringing together the community the possibility of larger scale community visioning during the next fiscal year? If you don’t remember to remind yourself what went before in visioning, then it all gets set aside over time. If we had a community vision, we’d run through it each year. Changes as time goes on, bigger longer term issues. We need continuity.
* Busby: People need to get a report on what was before it can think about going forward.
* Nebel: Has to enlist opinion of regional governments and other officials to give them insight as to where the city is going.
* Allen: Strategic master plan published in 2005. City Council and City Manager turn-over kicked in…so it withered.
* Sawyer: Public wants Red Robin, Quiznos and Olive Garden…but they won’t come unless we start growing. They generally don’t come into such small towns. WE had Quiznos but they eventually left.
Allen: Lets sit down with those who were part of old master plans and get their take on former visioning. Lorna Davis could give insight, for starters.

Water, Sewer, Stormwater – Tim Gross

* Assess funding sources for upgrading storm drain system.
* Identify funding sources for it.
* Fix infiltration of sewage into storm drains, and storm drains into sewer. Broken lines, aging lines, etc.
Lines too close togetherin the ground, etc.
* Fix accidental (or intentional) cross connections between sewer and storm water lines.
* Realize that Federal Environmental Protection Agency will soon bring big city stormwater standards to small towns because pollution is pollution. Will likely provide grant funds to assist. But expect it in the not too distant future.
* Need to develop Storm Water master plan. Can’t do much with it until we know what we have and know where to start fixing things.

Streets/Transportation – Tim Gross
* Need consistent funding for street repairs.
* Designate specific pedestrian and bicycle routes.
* Designate “Safe Routes to School” program.
* Pave the town’s gravel streets.
* Develop a regular street maintenance program.

Water System – Tim Gross
* Implement automated meter reading program – may want to examine possible partnership with CLPUD for tower sites.
* Improve water system to the airport.
* Begin long running replacement of water delivery lines all over town.
* Strengthen or replace upper and/or lower Big Creek Dam complex.
* Update city wide water master plan. List costs.
* Initiate water flushing system to keep lines healthy.
* Replace water mains all over town.
* Need 2nd water line across the bay to South Beach. Safety back up.
* Seismic retro fit to make several water tanks able to survive an earthquake.
* Install remote monitoring systems to keep track of water pump operations.

Sewer – Time Gross
* Reduce inflow and infiltration of stormwater.
* Find funding for big sewer projects like replacing lines and pumps.
* Get sewer service to the Airport. May take a while, because not much going on there, construction-wize.
* Develop a Wastewater Master Plan
* Continue improvements to the Agate Beach Wastewater Program.
* Replace Nye Beach pump station.
Acquire more land for use as a “spreading” location for environmentally safe sewer sludge. Our sludge is highly treated and is safe for such land applications.

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