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Council roundup: Road improvement program approved, new public records fees set

Next meeting is July 11

The West Linn City Council had just three members present during a special meeting Monday, June 27, but that didn’t stop it from making decisions on a number of items, including the approval of new master fee charges for the second year of the 2016-17 biennium and the awarding of a contract for the 2016 Road Improvement Program.


Chief Financial Officer Richard Seals briefed the council on the new master fees at a work session earlier in June, and so there were few questions to be asked when the matter came up for approval June 27.

Water, sewer and street maintenance fees are set for a 5 percent increase for 2016-2017, and while the City has weighed a larger double-digit increase in water rates for years, Seals said at a June 6 work session that recent hot summers — and increased water usage — may eliminate the need for that larger increase. Such an increase, once proposed at 18 percent, would have to be approved by voters.

At Monday’s meeting, the council did agree to alter rates for public records access. Where previously it cost $16 to copy up to 20 pages of records (tied with Newberg for the highest in the region), and $35 for a CD-ROM (second highest behind Newberg), the council opted to lower those fees to $5 and $20, respectively. Additional copies beyond 20 pages will remain at $.25 per page.

The council also agreed to pursue a method of publishing records requests on a City webpage, thus creating a spot where residents can search for documents and potentially eliminate the need for duplicate requests. Such a webpage would augment a separate records database that is also in the works.

Road program

The council also voted unanimously to approve a contract with S-2 Contractors for its 2016 Road Improvement Program.

The contract was for $1.2 million, and will cover a number of different road projects including pavement removal and replacement, curb and sidewalk improvements, sanitary and storm sewer improvements.

The 2016 program includes a total of 10 projects, as well as crack sealing and “minor pavement repairs” at 41 streets across the city. The 10 projects are exclusively concentrated in the Willamette and Marylhurst areas.

To learn more about the program visit bit.ly/28Yuvif.

Community grants

The council was also scheduled to approve $20,000 in community grants on Monday, but that action was delayed after City Councilor Thomas Frank declared that he would recuse himself because of his role as president of the West Linn Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce was one of the community organizations selected to receive grant funding, thus prompting Frank’s decision to recuse himself. That left the council with just two voting members on Monday — not enough for a quorum.

The community grants vote will thus be rescheduled for a later date.

Upcoming schedule

The next City Council meeting is set for July 11. The council is tentatively scheduled to discuss code amendments, an ongoing Economic Opportunities Analysis project, Burnside Park and upcoming legislative priorities.

A work session is tentatively scheduled for the following week on July 18. To view a full tentative schedule, visit 1.usa.gov/291MYOo.