The city of Enterprise is expecting opposition to a proposed ordinance liberalizing the use of four-wheelers within city limits the city council was told at the regular city council meeting Monday, Oct. 14. A town hall-type forum to allow public input on the proposed ordinance has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6 at City Hall.
“We do have more opposition than I thought we’d have,” city recorder Lacey McQuead said.
During the September council meeting, members discussed an ordinance that would allow unlicensed drivers younger than 16 to operate ATVs on city streets for work purposes, such as plowing snow or mowing lawns.
McQuead said the city has received several letters, all strongly opposed to the proposed ordinance. She plans to read them at the town hall meeting.
In addition to the letters, McQuead said City Attorney Wyatt Baum told her that dropping the driving age below what Oregon Revised Statutes requires ˜is not an option." Essentially, it’s too great a liability for the city.
“He will not support that,” McQuead said. “He does not suggest we move forward or set an age that goes against the ORS. He does not recommend it at all.”
She said there may be a way around it by revising the current ordinance, but she recommended to the council following ORS requirements. She said there would be an attempt to make clear what the city is hoping to accomplish at the town hall.
McQuead also asked the council to set a time limit for participants in the town hall. The council agreed to the 5-minute limit for speakers.
“I know we’re going to have a couple people who will show up who’ve been very vocal and we’re likely to get off track if we don’t limit it,” she said.
In other business, the council approved three Community Economic Tourism Related Activities grants totaling $5,000. Approved were a $2,000 grant requested by the Greater Enterprise Main Streets and a $2,000 grant for the Wallowa County Ice Rink. Councilman Dave Elliot said working committees recommended the entire requests for these two because of the numbers of tourists they attract. A request for Fishtrap, also for $2,000, was halved to $1,000, Elliot said.
“Because they’re not as tourist-oriented, we agreed on 50%.” Elliot said.
The council also approved spending $13,000 to go along with the more than $261,000 2018 Assistance to Firefighters grant to purchase a new tanker truck for the Enterprise Fire Department.
The council also approved street closures for two upcoming events.
A portion of Main Street will be closed from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Oct. 31 for the annual Trunk or Treat event.
Also, Lynnie Appleton, coordinator for the 16th Eagle Cap Extreme Sled Dog Race, asked that the usual afternoon closure for the race be switched to the morning since the Jan. 22 event will be using Cloverleaf Hall in Enterprise as its race-central instead of the Joseph Community Center. She said the Joseph City Council already has agreed to the change.
“We have so many younger kids who come to the morning vet checks and also visit race central and the activities, it makes sense to ask you for morning rather than afternoon,” Appleton told the council. “We’d like to see if that works for you. Everything else is just like we’ve done in the past.”
She said 200 kids showed up last year, coming from area schools, La Grande, Bend, Imbler and as far as the Portland area and Redmond. In addition to having vet checks in Joseph and Enterprise, the Eagle Cap Extreme also asks a musher and veterinarian to do the official vet check in Wallowa so that Wallowa kids can learn about the event and the sport of sled dog racing.
She said that for the past five years or so, they’ve had one musher, generally in Enterprise, who was did a presentation of school kids and was also willing to answer questions of vet-check visitors.
“And we’ll continue to do that,” she said. “It’s quite popular."
Council members agreed there’s never been any problems with afternoon vet checks, so no reason they couldn’t switch to the morning.
“It’s fun, it’s exciting,” Appleton said.
The ATV forum will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6 at City Hall. The next council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11.