The agenda looked weighted at the first meeting back for the Raymond City Council after the July Fourth holiday.
Though it took until the Department Heads Comments did we really find out about the fire calls during the unprecedented sultry Independence Day weekend. Fire Chief Todd Strozyk reported that with the closing of a very busy June and a start to the summer season, the Fourth of July weekend had no incidents. Police Chief Chuck Spoor remarked that it was possibly a record-breaking year as the Raymond Police Department had little active call outs for fireworks.
Mayor Jason Dunsmoor got the meeting rolling with the passing of previous minutes and the consent agenda paying out just over $300,000 in claims and payroll. Then the agenda items started hitting the full compliment sitting council.
With no communications to report and no one from the public to make any open comments to the council, the item addressed first was the E-911 Sales Tax proposal.
The item in front of the council was a proposition to introduce a sales tax as opposed to a homeowner or resident tax to create revenue for the E-911 system.
The expectation for this meeting was to have the City of Raymond send a letter in support of the proposal to the Pacific County Commissioners. But the tax was explained a little.
Chief Spoor spoke on how the tax was estimated to generate annual revenue in the neighborhood of $240,000, at a cost of around $7 per resident a year. And how if some of the estimate was around tourism. Those passing through the area would also assist with the E-911 revenue generation when they stopped for gas or utilized a retail business in the area. The estimates were based on a countywide population.
"Unlike a property tax this would get some additional revenue from those utilizing some of the same services that we have here. They would pay when they use a motel, or but gas," explained Chief Spoor.
Spoor further explained that some of the revenue generated would help to offset some of the police and fire work as well as allow the E-911 offices to staff up.
Council member Ray Robinson provided the motion to move the discussion on, it was seconded by Council member Vicki Flemetis. And when it came to the vote, all save one, Ian Ferrell voted in favor of the endorsement. The proposal passed.
"I believe that a sales tax should be used for another purpose. I do not like the concept of this proposal," said Farrell in defending his nay vote.
The next item scheduled was the Peddlers Ordinance, or Ord. No. 1838. As this Ordinance has been in front of the council before it was motioned to pass the ordinance as written, on its first reading, it was approved.
Ordinance 1839, the Annexation of Timberland Library was the following item on the agenda. Mayor Dunsmoor opened up the topic by advising the Council about the previous discussions and that the intent was to get the item moving to be placed in the hands of the County Commissioners who would then get it into the next election to be placed on the ballot for this election year. Along with the Annexation, there was an additional Interlocal agreement, should the Annexation vote pass with the peoples approval, that would allow the City of Raymond a 10-year payment plan to keep the library through the transition year, 2016.
The council moved forward the annexation ordinance unanimously, but will visit the fiscal plan for 2016 onto a future meeting.
The mayor then opened up a Public Hearing on the Six-year Street Plan, which ran for two minutes, with no public comment noted and the council making sure that they had all the required plans of action.
An annual plan, the Six-year Street Plan looks at the possible future of planning by the City of Raymond out to year 2021. The Street Plan is nothing more than a way to prioritize street repairs in the future and get them on a list. It is also a requirement from the state to help ensure grant money.
With the Department Head reports, Fourth of July was given a very quiet report, and noted by many that this was a very subdued Fourth celebration in the way of fireworks.
Council member Dee Roberts related that from her experience at a local fireworks stand that sales were off this year, and people were asking questions.
"Several people asked what they could or could not use in the local area. It was the first time that I saw so much concern from the community about what they could or could not do for the Fourth of July celebration," said Roberts.
Most council members agreed that it was a very relaxing Fourth and were very glad that nothing catastrophic did happen in the way of an accident or fire.
Fire Chief Strozyk said that he went out with a crew and patrolled the city and did not find anyone using unauthorized fireworks.
"I was really surprised when we went out, and we were not out specifically looking for people, just having a look around the city. But people still need to be aware that we are really just getting started with fire season and we appreciate everything that the community is doing to help us," said Chief Strozyk.
Public Works Director M. Dean Parsons advised the city of bids the department received for work along Commercial Street.
"We had three bids come in, all over $1 million, and I would advise the city to go with the bid from Quigg Brothers," said Director Parsons.
It was also noted that some additional charges might be coming through as not all aspects of engineering had been bid. The Quigg Brothers bid was approved by the council.
The work scheduled for Commercial Street is a plan to go from the edge of right away to edge of right away across and along Commercial Street, and at some locations bury telecommunications and power services. Sidewalks, and roads will be resurfaced.
Council member Roberts and Betty Soveregin both noted that they would not be available for the next meeting to be held on July 20.