Rose takes reins as Cove mayor

By Observer Upload April 04, 2013 08:55 am

by Kelly Black/For The Observer

COVE — The search for a mayor in Cove is over.

The Cove City Council opted to fill the vacant mayor position Tuesday by appointing Council President Lyndon Rose to the position and moving councilor Regina Kruse to fill Rose’s position as council president.

 

“I don’t think we can continue to do business well, if we don’t have a mayor,” said Councilor Nate Conrad.

Despite recruitment efforts, since former Mayor James Lundy’s departure at the end of 2012, the city has been operating without a mayor.

Rose is a La Grande native and has served as a Cove city councilor for about 15 years. 

“I love it here,” Rose said. “I hope people realize they have a mayor who cares about the city and wants to make it a better place to live.”

Other business of the night included a revised schedule for the wastewater expansion project, an ordinance to increase sewer rates and motions to sponsor Cove Clean Up Day and allocate money to the Cherry Fair.

Delays in final approval from the United States Department of Agriculture for the $1.6 million loan for the wastewater expansion project have forced a revised project schedule. Pending USDA final approval, Cove will begin advertising for construction bids on April 22. 

“We’re getting down to crunch time,” said Brad Baird of Anderson Perry and Associates.  

The city will accept bids until May 21 and select a contractor in late May to begin construction in mid-June.

In effort to raise revenue for the loan repayment, residential sewer rates are scheduled to increase to $35 a month starting June 20. The council will vote on the proposed sewer rate increase at the May meeting. 

The council unanimously agreed to sponsor Cove Clean Up Day, which is scheduled for April 27. City insurance agent Art Rhodes had expressed concern at the March city council meeting about liability insurance coverage for the event.

By sponsoring the clean-up day, city insurance will cover both the city and the event. According to Kruse, the event is financially self-sustaining. An independent committee will continue to organize the event.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, Cherry Fair Committee Chairperson Kathi Hartmann requested funds from the city for the Aug. 17 event. 

“We’re trying to reconstruct it and make it better,” Hartmann said. “I feel it is very important to keep the Cherry Fair.”

The council unanimously voted to allocate $800 to the Cherry Fair.

“It keeps a small town flavor,” Rose said.