Audrey Love

The Elgin City Council met Tuesday to conduct its regular council meeting at Elgin City Hall.

Concerning new business, a public hearing was held to discuss the possible purchase of the W.C. Construction complex in Elgin, to be used as the new location for city hall, public works shop and animal shelter. Brock Eckstein reported the negotiating committee settled on a final agreement of $1,180,000 for the complex. The current public works shop, built in 1918, is projected to last the department for only the next five years.

If the project moves forward, the current city hall will become the Elgin Museum and the location of the current museum will be donated to the high school’s shop program.

There is an approved budget for the project already, and Eckstein mentioned possibly leasing some of the extra office space at the complex to both government and private agencies to help offset cost.

The complex will also save public works money in the short and long term through utilities, with a projected $1,100 a month in electric and gas savings versus their current building. A sum of $2.67 from each Elgin household’s existing monthly water and sewer bill would be applied toward the purchase of the complex. There was no dissention from either council members or those in attendance concerning the purchase and the council voted to proceed with the sale.

Municipal Court Judge Laura Eckstein said progress was continuing on the newly enacted community service program within the court system, which allows residents the option of working off their fines through labor via the Public Works Department. That option is now being offered to all qualified candidates, namely those with a large amount of fines and a low ability to pay. Eckstein reported an “unusually high” amount of compliance concerning cases overall.

The Public Safety Department reported an Aug. 3 incident at the community center pool. Two minors, working as lifeguards, were accosted by an individual who stole the till from the cash register. The individual was caught and charged with trespassing and theft. In response, the Parks and Recreation Department will seek a grant to help fund the implementation of security updates to the facility.

The Indian Valley Estates subdivision sewer and water system is moving forward, according to city engineering. Before the final design is submitted, the Public Works Department will help refine the design and construction concept for a domestic water distribution system and sanitary collection system. City engineering also hopes to apply for funding through a Business Oregon grant to help offset cost.

See more in Wednesday's edition of The Observer.