Enterprise City Council made short work of a long agenda on April 11, dealing with news good, bad and mixed.
• It was sad news when councilors heard that police officer TJ Miller had resigned, bringing the number of police officers on duty in Enterprise down to two: George Kohlhepp and Jed Stone.
• But good news followed when Young reported that Police Chief Candidate Joel Fish so far has passed all of his background checks and is on target to take over the force by May 23.
• More mixed news followed when the council learned that the library lift project suffered two hits to the contingency fund. The first hit came when oil contamination was found in the soil and treatment costs had to be taken out of the fund. Then the council learned that a “panic room” was required for disabled folks who may not be able to exit the building via the lift in an emergency. City Administrator Michelle Young said city staff would write for a Brownfields Grant and look into other ways to cover the soil treatment costs and replenish funds.
“I think we stand a pretty good chance of getting the (Brownfield’s) grant,” Young said.
• The Landmarks Committee got good news, having received a grant of over $7,700 that will help conduct an intensive level survey of the Cemetery property, help owners of the old Chieftain building to do a preservation plan for the restoration of the Bowlby stone, create a community project recognizing façade improvements downtown, help pay to send commissioners to the State Historic Preservation Conference and have a few dollars left over for staff costs.
• The Motel Tax Committee divided up the available $13,000 and announced the winners of the grants to support tourism producing events within city limits:
$2,000 each went to Mountain High Broncs and Bulls, Bowlby Bash, Mule Days, Juniper Jam, the Courthouse Concert Series and Greater Enterprise Main Street (GEMS). Wallowa Land Trust and AlpenFest each received $500.
• In the wake of an increase to landfill tipping fees, the council unanimously voted to allow Rahn Sanitary to raise its rates by no more than 20 percent overall in two installations. The first 10 percent raise in fees will be seen on bills for May, and then a representative of the company will return to the council for approval of the second installment by June. Co-owner Mike Rahn said the second installment may not come to 10 percent, but that the exact amount was still not known.
“We figure 20 percent will cover us, but it just takes time to figure this out,” Rahn said.
The City of Joseph has already approved the 20 percent increase in their jurisdiction.
• David Hayslip of Enterprise was approved for a three-year term on the Planning Commission, replacing Rob Taylor, who has already departed for his new job with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service working with endangered birds on Midway Island.
• The Planning Commission is putting together an advisory committee for upcoming discussions on updates to local land-use codes.