City council OKs improvements to city hall

May 07, 2013 07:41 am

By Katy Nesbitt/The Observer

JOSEPH — The Joseph City Council is looking to do some home improvement this summer for city hall and some of its streets in need of repair.

At Thursday night’s meeting, the council approved using money from its building fund to replace siding on city hall. City Administrator Donna Warnock said a local citizen has volunteered to do the labor so the city will only have to pay for the materials necessary to complete the project.

“The money used from the building fund will extend the life and improve the appearance of city hall,” Mayor Dennis Sands said.

The council has been in discussion over the past few months about fixing some of the streets in most need. Warnock said two of the top priorities are McCully Street by the post office and First Street. 

Sands said the city anticipates using approximately $75,000 to target some of the biggest problem areas. He said in his review of the city’s needs at the county’s Vitality Summit this week he mentioned that some cities build speed bumps, but Joseph has “built-in” speed bumps.

The city will be going out for bid for the street work with the intent to complete it this summer.

Sands said he told the attendees at the summit that the city was moving ahead with a grant application to Oregon State Parks to develop a master plan for the Joseph City Park.

On May 1, the city had another successful “clean-up” day, according to council member George Ballard. Two dumpsters of trash were taken to the landfill, two loads of scrap metal collected, several gallons of used motor oil were received, and new this year, paint and household hazardous waste were dropped off for proper disposal.

Joseph students — from first grade through high school — pitched in to pick-up litter and clean the streets of downtown. 

“I was so impressed with our kids,” Ballard said. 

Ballard said he’s looking into having the city offer plastic bags in receptacles around town to be used by dog walkers to pick up after their animals.

A well-used service absent since last fall are the city’s downtown recycle bins. The city removed them because garbage was being left at the site. Surveillance cameras were installed, Warnock said, and new signs explaining their use will be put up next week. 

After their installation, the bins will be reinstalled as well to ease city members’ recycling needs.

Grant applications for Joseph’s motel tax funds are getting an overhaul this spring, said Council Member Theresa Sajonia. The new design will be simple and complete, said committee member Kathy Bingham. 

The deadline for applications for next year is Oct. 1. In November, the council will consider the submissions and vote on them at the December meeting.