Audrey Love

The Elgin City Council met July 10, to conduct its regular council meeting at Elgin City Hall. Mayor Allan Duffy, City Administrator Brock Eckstein and Councilors Mary West, Kathy Warren, David Reed and Risa Hallgarth were in attendance; Councilors Teresa Shaffer and Rocky Burgess were excused.

The meeting kicked off with a revision to the agenda by Eckstein, citing a reading of Ordinances 5 and 6 concerning Lightspeed Networks, Inc., and Eastern Oregon Net, Inc./Priority One Telecommunications, Inc. — two franchises bidding to construct, operate and maintain a telecommunications network within the city — to be read by the council at the conclusion of the meeting.

Municipal Court Judge Laura Eckstein reported she expected a full court day July 11 with three trials and a full docket. She stated she would also be attending the first community service program meeting to initiate and expand an in-progress community service program, which would offer those unable to pay court fines the option of completing community service as an alternative form of payment. Working with the public works director and the Public Safety Committee to help develop the program, she expressed hopes it would help avoid keeping people locked in the system for an extended period of time and clear out cases that have been pending so they can be moved through compliance more efficiently..

“We’re very excited about the potential (of the) program,” the judge said.

Elgin Fire Chief Kevin Silvernail presented to the council a request from the EMT crew to create a scholarship honoring 19 years of service by EMT Tracy Christopher, who plans to retire.

Silvernail said Christopher has “pioneered the (EMT) service through a lot of tough times.” The motion was made to create a $250 scholarship for an Elgin High School student planning on entering the EMT field or another medical-related field.

Progress to install the Indian Valley Estates subdivision sewer and water system continues to move forward. The preliminary engineering report was presented to the council by public works and the city engineer. Initial data analysis is pending, updates have been made to the geodatabase with the city’s existing sewer information and a topographic survey has been completed. The next phase, including the design and construction of a domestic water distribution system and a sanitary sewer collection system, is set to begin pending contract signatures and further review of pending data. The motion to authorize the agreement for the design and construction of Indian Valley Estates Utilities system was also passed.

The library has been awarded an almost $2,000 grant from the La Grande Library Foundation to be used toward updating its shelving and will receive the grant when full funds become available. A yard sale will be held July 21 from 9 a.m. to
1 p.m. to raise money toward the grant.

New business included the Calico Arms Land Purchase Agreement concerning the city’s purchase of two tax lots located at the industrial park has been completed and the initial lease signed. Further signatures will be required and Mayor Duffy motioned to table the topic until the next council meeting for further review of the contract.

City council meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at Elgin City Hall, 180 N. Eighth Ave.