>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

The Observer paper 11/21/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.

Subscribe


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow City services, staffing will stay at current levels

Print

City services, staffing will stay at current levels

By Bill Rautenstrauch

The Observer

The La Grande City Council approved proposed budgets for 2012-13 totaling about $43 million on Wednesday, preserving services at current levels and keeping staffing levels the same as last year.

The city’s budget committee formulated its 2012-13 recommendations in May and passed them on to the council for final adoption in the June regular session.

By law, the council has the option of adjusting the recommended budgets by 10 percent. No major changes were recommended Wednesday, though Councilor John Bozarth zeroed in on an item that increases the city’s tree care educator’s hours from 19 to 20. 

With 20 hours, the employee would qualify for some health care and pension benefits. Bozarth said making her position a benefitted one will cost the city an additional $10,200 year.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate,” Bozarth said. He said he believes the increase would be unfair to taxpayers, and also worries that changing the position would set an unwanted precedent.

He suggested putting the $10,200 back in the general fund, and giving the employee a raise instead.

A vote on that failed. After some debate, the council voted to keep the $10,200 in the urban forestry division budget as proposed. The position will be upgraded.

The tree care educator coordinates the programs of the city’s Urban Forestry Division, including the street tree planting program, a tree removal and replacement partnership with Oregon Trail Electric Co-op, the Adopt a Tree and Memorial Tree Programs, and more. She also does work in ordinance and code enforcement related to urban forestry, works with volunteers and does community outreach and education.

The proposal to make her a benefitted employee had the backing of the city’s Community Landscape and Forestry Commission. In a letter to the council, Chair Robin Maille said the Urban Forestry Division is a vital city program and that the tree care educator provides valuable service.

“Given this value, we feel the additional hour per week and benefits will underscore our appreciation of these services and their contribution to the City of La Grande,” Maille said.

Wednesday’s council meeting at City Hall was mostly routine.

In one item, the panel approved a proposed franchise agreement with Eastern Oregon Net, Inc., one that will allow EONI to build a fiber optic connection along Washington Avenue, terminating at the Sac Annex.

Jeff Crews of EONI told the council the line will be mostly above ground. City Manager Robert Strope said the franchise agreement is identical to one that is already in place with LightSpeed Networks, Inc.

After adjourning its Wednesday meeting, the council reconvened as the Urban Renewal Agency board. The board adopted a $3.6 million, 2012-13 URA budget, and also awarded a contract for blight abatement at the IOOF/State Theater building. IRS Environmental of Portland, Inc., with a $168,450 bid, was awarded the contract.

The contract will be administered by the city and not by consultant AMEC Environment and Infrastructure as originally intended. City Manager Robert Strope told the board that AMEC had asked for an increased fee to administer the contract.

Print

blog comments powered by Disqus
News
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Opinion
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Features
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
Classifieds
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

buy adobe photoshop cs3 uk http://www.cfaiurc.fr/?pk_n=4571&pk_kwd=... best price windows 7 home premium download
  • cheap mac parallels 9 buying microsoft office 2010 professional academic adobe captivate 5 mac download
  • adobe lightroom discount code http://depts.washington.edu/icutalk/?hos... os x mountain lion buy online
  • outlook 2010 discount http://web.taftcollege.edu/athletics/alu... purchase acrobat professional 9
    http://isa.univ-tours.fr/?&sn=get&cat=20... achats en ligne viagra achat viagra pharmacie
    http://ahva.ubc.ca/student/index.php?all... compra cialis http://ahva.ubc.ca/student/index.php?all...
    http://www.nhcadsv.org/book9/index.php?p... comprare il viagra senza ricetta compare viagra generico en españa
    where to buy windows 7 australia buying final cut express 4 download lightroom 5 for mac