05/12/2014 City Council meeting

With a loaded agenda and a wide variety of issues, after two fun announcements the West Linn City Council was all business during its May 12 regular meeting.

 “If I Were Mayor”

Mayor John Kovash held his annual “If I Were Mayor” contest again this year through the Oregon Mayors Association.

This year, Kovash challenged fourth- and fifth-graders in a poster contest describing what they would do if they were mayor. The entries had great ideas – saving water, creating a community center, replacing old water pipes and protecting the city’s plants and animals. They were judged on creativity, clarity and sincerity of thought, proper use of grammar and subject relevancy.

This year there were four finalists, a fifth-grader from Bolton and three fourth-graders from Trillium Creek primaries.

During the May 12 city council meeting, Kovash announced the winning poster was created by Audrey Shih, a fourth-grader at Trillium Creek Primary.

“I really appreciate the teachers and the students who got involved in the project,” Kovash said. “We think it’s really neat.”

Audrey’s poster will now compete at the statewide level for the chance to win an iPad Air.

Her entry read:

If I were the mayor of West Linn, I would build a recreational center. This center would focus on healthy eating and physical fitness to help all citizens of West Linn have the opportunity to live and make a healthier lifestyle.

To help the citizens with physical fitness, there will be treadmills, weights and exercise balls to use and canoes, gymnastics mats, tennis rackets, balls and other equipment that will be available to rent. The people that come will be able to use our several hiking and biking trails to use their equipment on. To make sure you are using the equipment correctly, there will be exercise classes and trainers to teach you lessons and lead you in yoga, basketball, weightlifting and any other sport you desire.

Nutrition is a very important part in being healthy so at the recreational center there will be cooking classes to teach people how to cook healthy meals for them and their family. We will also be offering classes on how to lose weight and protect your body from sickness. Nutrition bars and healthy snacks will be available at stands around the recreational center.

I would make this recreational center not just for adults but also for children, teens and senior citizens.

Preservation month proclamation

The city council also proclaimed May as National Preservation Month.

Consent agenda

The consent agenda included approval meeting minutes and a bill renewing an intergovernmental agreement with Clackamas County to provide juvenile diversion services to the city at the cost of $2,500 a year, a reduction of $1,000 from fiscal year 2012/2013.

Planning docket

During the city manager’s report, the council unanimously approved a docket outlining future projects, their timelines and when hearings are slated to go before the planning commission and the city council.

This was the council’s second look at the docket, having discussed it at a previous meeting.

Items on the docket include economic development streamlining, the water resource area code amendments, minor code refinements, the Arch Bridge/Bolton master plan, a sustainable West Linn strategic plan and the transportation system plan.

New light signal

In 2008, the city’s transportation system plan identified the need for a traffic signal at the corner of Santa Anita and Rosemont Road, near Rosemont Ridge Middle School, when traffic levels warranted the need.

Traffic volume studies conducted over the last year confirmed the need for the signal. The project includes the relocation of some overhead utilities, roadway improvements along the east leg of Rosemont to accommodate a dedicated left-turn signal, traffic signal installation with countdown pedestrian signals and flashing school zone signage, along with other miscellaneous improvements.

This project is funded 100 percent by street system development charge (SDC) fees, which are paid by developers.

To speed the project along and get it completed this summer while school is out, the city is currently in the process of pre-purchasing the traffic signal mast arms due to the long lead time.

“This is something that has been a long time coming,” Councilor Jody Carson said, moving to authorize the contract. Councilor Jenni Tan seconded.

Total cost for construction is $758,120.50.

 “What we have to remember is this stuff is really expensive,” Kovash said. “The expense, I think, would be surprising to a lot of people, just to put up a light.”

Bland pump station

Another project involving SDC funding approved during the meeting was a bid for the Bland intertie pump station project.

The project will construct a 1,200-gallon-per-minute booster pump station that connects the Bland pressure zone with the Rosemont pressure zone, creating much needed redundancy in the water system.

This is the second attempt to approve a contact for this project as the first round of bidding was canceled due to ambiguous provisions in the bid document.

For background, the 2008 water system master plan identified an intertie between the Bland and Rosemont water pressure zones to provide additional backup supply to the Rosemont pressure zone due to its limited reservoir capacity.

The Bland intertie pump station is the first piece in connecting the two pressure zones. The 12-inch transmission main is currently being designed and will be advertised separately.

The project is 100 percent funded by water SDC funds. To expedite the project schedule, the city has pre-purchased the pumps due to long lead time at an additional cost of $99,508. The pre-purchased pumps will be installed as part of this contract.

A construction contract was unanimously awarded to Cascade Water Works at $424,500.

“This is another relatively expensive project,” Kovash said, pointing out that it too is being paid for by developer funding.

Sold Waste drop box service rates

The council also approved a rate increase for industrial solid waste and recycling drop box service with Republic Services/Allied Waste of Clackamas and Washington Counties.

Drop box customers typically include larger businesses, apartment complexes and construction contractors generating sizeable amounts of solid waste. Drop box units range in size from 10 to 40 cubic yards.

Rates for West Linn industrial drop box services have remained unchanged for the last four years while Metro disposal rates have increased 9.9 percent and the Portland-Salem Consumer Price Index has risen 9 percent in the same time period.

The council approved a proposed 9 percent increase for the rate year beginning June 1 and ending May 31, 2015.

Future rate increases will be limited to 3 percent annually.

Regulatory streamlining

The council also held a public hearing on its regulatory streamlining project that is amending the city’s codes in hopes of boosting economic development in the city.

City staff have been working through the city’s large number of codes and proposing improvements in language and amendments to create greater efficiencies and eliminate redundancies. These changes are expected to provide significant and considerable short- and long-term savings for the city.

The amendments are thought to make greater use of land, reduce excess parking requirements, encourage more flexible design and allow for more desirable public amenities and uses in the city.

This is not the first time the city council has discussed regulatory streamlining. They have worked through the amendments over the course of several meetings.

“We’ve discussed a lot of the details of the amendments … at several work sessions,” Community Development Director Chris Kerr said.

Due to last-minute written testimony that the city council did not have time to review, the council moved to continue the meeting to its June 2 meeting.