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Oakridge City Council meeting 12/1: December events listed and audit problems identified

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Oakridge City Hall Herald Photo

Mayor Hollett began the meeting with her comments. First on her list of announcements was that Sara Altemus-Pope, in conjunction with the University of Oregon, will host a community conversation on the Cedar Creek and Gales Fires’ impact at the Lion Mountain Bakery next Thursday, Doors open at 5:30.

The annual tree lighting event is scheduled for Saturday, December 10th at 7pm. Also, the mayor stated that the warming center would be opening this evening, as temperatures are expected to be below freezing.

The scheduled executive session for the meeting was cancelled, as reports from all of the council had not come in.

More events for December

The last day to register online for Toys For Tots is December 3rd. You can still go to the Oakridge Fire Department up until December 17th to register in-person.

Police Chief Martin made a brief comment that there are still a lot of unknowns concerning the specifics of carrying out the requirements of the newly passed Measure 114. Chief Martin is a State committee to work out the details.

During councilor comments, Councilor Kinyon requested that the consent agenda, or approval of previous meeting minutes, not be done as she, again, has questions concerning previous minutes. There was a lengthy discussion about how to catch up with so many months of minutes still not being posted.

Special Fire District brief and approval of funds

Steve Able gave a quick update on the progress on the possibilty of a Special Fire District being formed between Oakridge, Westfir, and Hazeldell fire departments. He has submitted a draft of a form of enhanced Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) to the City. Council approved $9,000 for his continuing work.

Mayor Hollett was told that she had bypassed the public comment portion of the agenda. Two individuals spoke. Trudy Hammond asked about the $9,000 being paid to the contractor Mr. Able. Were the other communities also paying a share?

Dan Barkley Spoke of his concern for the city being out of compliance with the State with so many late postings of minutes and videos.

Melissa Prestinario, from RAIN,  gave a presentation on the overall mission and support the Regional Accelerator & Innovation Network (RAIN) was performing in Oakridge. The mayor spoke glowingly of RAIN and their work. RAIN meets every 4th Tuesday of the month at Mane Street Coffee on First Street at noon.

Committee appointments delayed

Committee appointments were next on the agenda. Kevin Gobelman was reappointed to the Planning Commission as well as to the Parks and Community Services Committee. The consideration for appointment to OEDAC for both Gobelman and Rusty Akland were postponed because those committee ordinances were still being reviewed. This agenda item was asked to be tabled by Councilor Whitney. No vote was taken.

$18,950 was approved for the purchase and installation of flooring for the remaining areas of City Hall.

Agenda item 9.4 focused on the recent audit report sent to the City. Councilor Kinyon gave a brief summation of the report. She stated that there were several items that needed correction to come into compliance with state requirements. Also, management practices needed corrective actions to be put in place. Kinyon motioned to accept the audit report. Passed unanimously.

Councilor Coker joined the meeting by Zoom about two hours into the meeting.

There was a long discussion about how to catch up on the delinquent posting of council session’s minutes and videos.

Hot coffee and food for our homeless

Norine Blankenship was in attendance to ask for permission to use an electrical outlet at the WAC. She and several supporting organizations have used the outside breezeway on the north side of the building to provide food and coffee to the homeless persons who had been using the warming center. Ms. Blankenship, or Tink as she is known, related that their service has been active for several years now.

The mayor said that there has been numerous complaints from nearby residents about the event. After some discussion and a vote of approval for the use, it was finally passed back to the city administrator to handle the logistics of supporting this community effort.

Following this discussion and before the CA’s remarks, minutes of the June 28 meeting were approved.

City’s renting of the OIP during fires netted needed funds

There were several items from the James Cleavenger, the city administrator. The city received approximately $48k in payments for the use of the Oakridge Industrial Park (OIP) during the fires. Almost all of that money will go into the OIP fund for infrastructure improvements and other OIP expenditures.

Cleavenger made mention that the holiday lights were up at City Hall and on the tree. He stated that the “Shop With a Cop” program event will take place on December 15th. Donations are accepted. Chief Martin chimed in to announce that the Boy Scouts will be selling Christmas trees at the west end of the elementary school on December 3rd and 4th, 8-3pm and  9-3pm, respectively.

On December 7th at 6:30, there will be an open house for code review in city hall hosted by Rick Zylstra, Community Services Director. Zoom will be available. Contact city hall for Zoom access.





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