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White Salmon News Briefs 10/10/13

WS updates ordinance for dangerous dogs

The White Salmon City Council has updated provisions in the city’s animal code relating to dangerous and potentially dangerous dogs to conform to state law.

The update grew out of a staff review of the dangerous dog ordinance; that review found the ordinance to be defective and in need of revision. Police Chief Tracy Wyckoff said the key change is the separation of the dangerous dog provisions from the potentially dangerous dog provisions.

“They were intertwined in the old ordinance, which created enforcement issues,” Wyckoff noted. Now, the Bingen-White Salmon Police Department will develop different forms for reporting each type of situation. The forms will be posted online at white-salmon.net when they become available.

The amended ordinance now defines a dangerous dog as “any dog that according to the records of the animal control authority: (a) has inflicted severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property, (b) has killed a domestic animal without provocation while the dog is off the owner’s property, or (c) has been previously found to be potentially dangerous” pursuant to Chapter 6.04 of the code “and the dog again bites, attacks, or endangers the safety of humans or domestic animals.”

Potentially dangerous dog now means “any dog that when unprovoked: (a) inflicts bites on a human or a domestic animal either on public or private property, or (b) chases or approaches a person upon the streets, sidewalks, or any public grounds or on private grounds other than its owner’s property in a menacing fashion or apparent attitude of attack, or any dog with a known propensity, tendency, or disposition to attack unprovoked, to cause injury, or otherwise to threaten the safety of humans and animals.”

Contract expanded to address water system improvements, Childs Reservoir deficiencies

The City of White Salmon has entered into a contract amendment with its water system consultant for the design of system improvements related to the implementation of the city’s Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) project and overflow issues at the Childs Reservoir.

The contract amendment calls for Aspect Consulting of Bainbridge Island to prepare detailed design documents and specifications for improvements necessary for ASR implementation, in-cluding extension of the Buck Creek line to the Childs Reservoir inlet, installation of an altitude valve to prevent overflow, and replacement of valves and the meter at Well No. 2. Verification of system improvements will be subcontracted to the consulting firm of Anderson Perry.

Moreover, Aspect Con-sulting will solicit bids for three contractors qualified to perform the work detailed in the design specifications and conduct limited construction oversight. Cost of the contract amendment is $26,125.

Aspect Consulting is under contract to the city to perform a feasibility assessment and to implement water system improvements, testing, and permitting of the city’s ASR project, which is being funded by a Columbia River Program grant. Approval of the contract extension allowed the city to allocate grant funds toward the ASR system improvements design.

The construction schedule calls for the selection of a contractor by Oct. 17 and implementation of system improvements by Nov. 14.

Pilot testing of the ASR project is scheduled to begin Dec. 2 for the injection phase, Jan. 31, 2014, for the storage phase, and May 1, 2014, for the recovery phase. End date for the recovery phase is June 30. A draft report about the pilot test is due at the state Department of Ecology by Aug. 30, 2014. Ecology will then have 30 days to review the results. If all goes according to form, the city will submit its final report and supporting documentation for ASR permitting to Ecology by Sept. 29, 2014.

According to city officials, completion of the ASR project would provide greater water supply and water right certainty from the city’s wells.

White Salmon seeking manager for public works operations

White Salmon has re-tained the services of a consulting firm to help with the recruitment of candidates for the newly retitled position of public works operations manager.

The city and Issaquah-based Prothman entered into a contract on Sept. 18 that will pay Prothman $16,500 for recruitment services provided to the city in its effort to hire a public works operations manager, a position formerly known as assistant public works director.

The public works operations manager, according an amendment of the city’s Administration and Person-nel ordinance also adopted on Sept. 18, will be an at-will employee appointed by the mayor with the consent of a majority of the City Council. The public works operation manager, moreover, will report directly to the public works director or a designee, and, among other things, assist the public works director in overseeing, coordinating, and managing the activities of the Public Works Department, and seeking funding sources and assist in the preparation and processing of grant applications pursuant to the department’s goals.

WS approves contract for update of city’s shoreline program

An update of White Salmon’s Shorelines Master Program to bring it in line with recent state Shoreline Management Act amendments will proceed under the management of a Hood River consulting firm.

The City Council voted to 4-0 contract with Berger-ABAM to provide professional planning and environmental services to complete the update. Cost of the planned five-phase update – with an anticipated completion date of June 30, 2015 – is not to exceed $70,000. The city has been awarded a $50,000 grant from the state Department of Ecology to help pay for the update but may need to seek an additional $20,000 in grant funding from Ecology to cover anticipated project expenses.

The Shoreline Master Program update will focus on some 4,000 feet of Columbia River shoreline with White Salmon city limits. The consultants assume Klickitat County will lead the update for about 5,500 feet of Columbia River shoreline within the city’s urban growth boundary.

The process for updating the city’s Shoreline Master Program will include: completion of inventory and analysis reports with corresponding maps and illustrations that characterize shoreline ecological conditions; development of shoreline policies, environmental designations, and use regulations; analysis of cumulative impacts and uses, preparation of a shoreline restoration plan; and development and implementation of processes for public participation and formal local adoption.

City adding paperless billing in response to customer requests

In response to customer requests, White Salmon will soon be offering paperless billing to its utility customers.

The City Council entered into agreements with vendors Xpress Solutions, Inc., and Chase Paymentech on Oct. 2 to provide the service for three years.

The service would “allow customers to pay their bill through a credit card, or online check without the customer paying a fee,” according to a Sept. 18 memorandum from City Clerk/Treasurer Leana John-son. Costs associated with the payments would be absorbed by the city.

“Assuming only 500 customers sign up for paperless billing, [and] 100 pay online with a credit card and 400 pay online using a checking account, there is an estimated $175.79 in additional monthly costs,” Johnson wrote. “Assuming 1,000 customers sign up, there is estimated to be a $97.41 cost savings per month. It will also save staff time and prevent data entry errors.”

Implementing the paperless billing system would entail increases of $750 to the Water, Wastewater, and Refuse budgets, and $250 to the Building Department budget. Johnson said these increases can be absorbed by the departments based on current estimates.

“This solution provides us with the ability to offer customers paperless billing and to verify if payments have been received, and it helps the city cut costs related to postage,” Johnson said last Wednesday. She added, “We’re not going strictly paperless. That won’t go away – at least not in my lifetime.”

With paperless billing, Johnson explained, a customer can still pay with a check in-person or by mail versus paying online with a credit or debit card, or an e-check. The customer, she noted, gets to choose between receiving a hard copy of their bill through the mail or an e-version in their e-mail inbox.

“This is something people have been asking about for a while,” Johnson said regarding paperless billing.

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