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Council meets in rehabbed chambers; Mayor votes herself onto subcommittee

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By GEORGE CUSTER/Editor  —  The meeting was held in the original, and now refurbished, council chambers. The Oakridge City Council started at a fairly quick pace on Thursday evening. Mayor Hollett had no comments of notable interest. Councilor Bjarnson was absent.

Councilor Kinyon asked that the recorded minutes of 6/28/22 not be voted on to be approved. She had some questions on the recording that she believed may have been in conflict with the written minutes. She also asked for an addition to the agenda concerning the Special District.

Stan Barenboim was approved to join the City’s Planning Commission. The term comes up for renewal at the end of the year. The Council decided that they go ahead and appoint him to fill the four-year term that would start at that time. The idea was floated amongst council with nods of approval. At this point Council decided to ask Mr. Barenboim if this was OK with him. Stan acknowledged that it would be fine.

City Planner’s work could have major impact for future housing in Oakridge

City Planner Rick Zylstra briefed the Council on the progress of the Transportation Growth Management (TGM) and the Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) grants that the City has been working on. Part of the grant process is an analysis of middle housing assessment. Current zoning conditions, as well as city codes will be under review. Rick indicated that the process is about two-thirds completed. Out of these reviews and analysis will be recommendations, and eventually, codification.

The HNA will specifically dive into a buildable lands inventory and a residential land needs survey.

Council voted to approve $7,200 for new flooring for City Hall. Residual ARPA funds will be used for this purpose. Councilor Kinyon questioned if new flooring fell into the category of infrastructure, as defined in the ARPA rules. Finance Director Colleen Shirley assured that it did. Approximately $20k had already been spent on the reconditioning of the City Council chambers.

Tree lighting and parade schedule announced

Saturday, December 10, is designated for the Tree Lighting and Parade. mayor Hollett asked council to approve $300 for food and beverages for the event. This amount will come out of the Transient Room Tax (TRT) fund. TRT funds are collected from motels and other lodging facilities for the purpose of promoting tourism.

Mayor Hollett indicated that some vendors are anticipated to set up booths. However, it was not mentioned as to whether this was an open call for the public to apply for participation as vendors.

A staff and volunteer appreciation party is scheduled for Saturday December 17th at the bowling alley in Oakridge. The owner of the bowling alley can accept donations and suggests $100 per hour. Without a written budget for the party, Council, however, approved $2,500 for the event.

Fire Chief Scott Hollett asked permission of the Council to apply for an Oregon State Fire Marshall (OSFM) grant. Chief Hollett went on to explain that, though the OSFM grant requires some matching funds, he expressed that the benefits could be substantial for the Fire Department.

Six month eval of city administrator due soon

Mayor Hollett indicated that the performance review evaluation of the City Administrator will be taking place. The forms will be sent to council members for their input. Kinyon said that, though this is a six-month evaluation, she felt that staff should be included. Due date for submission is the 28th of November. The formal evaluation will be conducted in Executive Session on December 1st.

The addition to the agenda that Councilor Kinyon asked for early on was for a motion to appoint  Mayor Hollett to the Special Fire District subcommittee to take affect after she leaves office. There was no briefing on the progress of the Special Fire District at the meeting, except that Hollett was working to get all three departments’ logos for any correspondence that may take place. The vote was unanimous with the mayor voting herself in, as well.

The city administrator had no comments and the finance director was not prepared to brief the Council with a financial report.

With no public comments, the meeting adjourned into executive session to end the meeting.


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