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Wscc Reverses Position

On joint wastewater study

By SVERRE BAKKE

The Enterprise

A proposed interlocal agreement between White Salmon and Bingen for the joint financing of a wastewater system plan failed in a vote of the White Salmon City Council during its Nov. 16 business meeting.

Outgoing Councilor Adrian Bradford led the charge against the agreement and its cost to White Salmon. “I urge the council to refuse to enter this agreement and pay for this study. We can use $95,000 for a lot better purposes than a wastewater study.”

Bradford’s motion to approve the agreement failed, 4-1, with Councilor Mark Peppel casting the lone vote in favor of executing the agreement. Clyde Knowles, Rich-ard Marx and Bob Landgren join-ed the majority. On Oct. 5, the City Council voted to proceed with developing the joint wastewater plan as proposed by consulting engineers Gray and Osborne, Inc. — a day after the Bingen City Council passed a similar motion, acting on the recommendation of the cities’ Joint Wastewater Committee. Neither city has a long-range wastewater plan.

The proposed interlocal agreement calls for Gray and Osborne to develop a 20-year wastewater plan and evaluate each city’s wastewater collection system for inflow and infiltration. Bingen would administer the contract and pay $45,311 of those plan development costs related to its collection system and its I&I evaluation, and $91,405 for those costs related to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

White Salmon would be responsible for $94,761 of costs related to wastewater plan development and its I&I evaluation.

City Administrator/Public Works Director Pat Munyan stressed the importance of per By SVERRE BAKKE

The Enterprise

A proposed interlocal agreement between White Salmon and Bingen for the joint financing of a wastewater system plan failed in a vote of the White Salmon City Council during its Nov. 16 business meeting.

Outgoing Councilor Adrian Bradford led the charge against the agreement and its cost to White Salmon. “I urge the council to refuse to enter this agreement and pay for this study. We can use $95,000 for a lot better purposes than a wastewater study.”

Bradford’s motion to approve the agreement failed, 4-1, with Councilor Mark Peppel casting the lone vote in favor of executing the agreement. Clyde Knowles, Rich-ard Marx and Bob Landgren join-ed the majority. On Oct. 5, the City Council voted to proceed with developing the joint wastewater plan as proposed by consulting engineers Gray and Osborne, Inc. — a day after the Bingen City Council passed a similar motion, acting on the recommendation of the cities’ Joint Wastewater Committee. Neither city has a long-range wastewater plan.

The proposed interlocal agreement calls for Gray and Osborne to develop a 20-year wastewater plan and evaluate each city’s wastewater collection system for inflow and infiltration. Bingen would administer the contract and pay $45,311 of those plan development costs related to its collection system and its I&I evaluation, and $91,405 for those costs related to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.

White Salmon would be responsible for $94,761 of costs related to wastewater plan development and its I&I evaluation.

City Administrator/Public Works Director Pat Munyan stressed the importance of performing an inflow and infiltration evaluation after listening to criticism of it by Bradford and Marx.

“The I&I study will look at the system from within to identify the condition of the pipe, and whether water is getting into the system or leaking out,” Munyan said.

The council may choose to revisit the issue once incoming councilors Allan Wolf and Jason Sabourin are sworn in.

In other business, the City Council:

nEnacted an ordinance setting ad valorem taxes to be collected in 2012 at $301,704 — a 1 percent increase, or “the maximum allowed by law without a vote of the citizens,” Clerk/Treasurer Leana Johnson noted in a Nov. 8 memorandum. The measure passed, 4-1, with Marx opposed.

nPassed a resolution “that an increase in the regular property tax levy, in addition to any amount resulting from the addition of new construction and improvements to property and any increase in the value of state-assessed property, is hereby authorized for the 2012 levy in the amount of $2,987.17, which is a percentage increase of 1 percent from the previous year.” The resolution passed with Marx voting against.

nAdopted an ordinance providing for the annual levy of ad valorem taxes for the 1996 general obligation bonds that paid for construction of the Fire Hall and acquisition of a fire truck. The amount to be levied in 2012 is $89,060: $87,060 for repayment of the bonds and $2,000 for repayment of interest on a 2006 interfund loan.

nApproved a change order request for $12,584 from the Buck Creek Waterline Relocation Project contractor, Tapani Underground, Inc., of Battle Ground. The fifth change order, covered by PacifiCorp per the Condit Dam decommissioning, increased the contract total to $1,454,298. In a related matter, Munyan reported on Nov. 2 that the line crossing the White Salmon River was leaking. The contractor, he said, would be replacing the whole section that crosses the bridge rather than smaller sections where leaks were detected to reduce down time from 14 to two days.

nTabled again consideration of a lease with Masonic Lodge No. 163 for parking space behind its building that would be designated for public parking. The lease would cost the city $100 a month and run for five years. Councilors asked for more information about number of carpark spaces involved in the lease, plus costs of maintenance and improvements.

nApproved a budget amendment that, among other things, accounts for swimming pool repairs and a new pump ($4,300), a $17,090 reduction in police department revenue and Current Expense expenditures, and the closing out of two paid-in-full obligations.

nTabled an agreement between the city and police clerk Judy Culp, a member of the municipal employees union, to remove Culp from the city’s medical insurance program. Peppel moved to table the matter until the signature page could be corrected.

Johnson said Culp “elected to opt out of the city’s medical insurance coverage” because she could get coverage under her husband’s policy.

Mayor David Poucher told the council, “What you have before you is an agreement to save the city about $15,000 a year.”

When councilors failed to act on the proposal, Poucher said, “I think it’s a silly move on council’s part to not approve” the agreement.

Bradford fired back, “Let’s be honest with the public. What your are really trying to do here is save a position, the police clerk position.”

Poucher cut Bradford off, but Marx intervened with a motion to allow Bradford to continue speaking. Poucher ruled them out of order because the item Bradford wished to discuss was not listed on the agenda.

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