Council to OK budget

By Bill Rautenstrauch, The Observer June 13, 2012 09:40 am

The La Grande City Council plans to formally adopt budgets for the 2012-13 fiscal year when it meets in regular session at City Hall Wednesday.

After the budget committee approves minutes from May’s budget hearings, the council will consider budget recommendations that tally $40.5 million across all funds. The general fund contains about $10 million, and the Urban Renewal budget $3.5 million. There are no recommendations  in this year’s budget for significant cuts in services or layoffs.

In other business during Wednesday’s meeting, the council will consider awarding a bid for the design and manufacture of the fire department’s new aerial fire apparatus. Four bids were submitted, including the lowest from General Fire Apparatus, Inc. for $699,400. The city manager is recommending that General Fire be awarded the contract. Others submitting bids included U.S. Fire Equipment, LLC, H&W Pacific and KMA Northwest.

In other business during Wednesday’s regular session, the council will consider a proposed franchise agreement with Eastern Oregon Net Inc. Jeff Crews of EONI is requesting the agreement so his company can place telecommunications facilities in the city’s rights of way. 

EONI plans an initial fiber optic cable project that will run from EONI’s main facility at Adams Avenue and Third Street back to Washington Avenue, and then along Washington to a point just beyond Fir Street. The proposed telecommunications agreement  is identical to one the city entered into earlier with Lightspeed Networks, Inc.

Another item on Wednesday’s city council meeting a proposed ordinance vacating of an alley right of way in Williamson’s Addition on Island Avenue.

Following the council meeting, the council will reconvene as the Urban Renewal Agency to consider adoption of the 2012-13 budget, and and also the award of a bid for blight abatement in the IOOF/State Theater Building at 1106 Adams Avenue.

AMEC Environmental Services, consultant on the project, solicited bids for abatement of asbestos, lead based paint and other environmental hazards. IRS Environmental is the apparent low bidder, at $168,450.

According to city staff reports, AMEC originally intended to contract for the abatement services, and submitted a proposal to increase its own fee based on what they saw as an expanded role. But to avoid the increased costs, city staff is recommending the Urban Renewal District contract directly with the winner.