City Council Regular Meeting - Minutes

Mon., Nov. 14, 2016

Mayor Drotzmann called the regular meeting to order at 7:00pm. Present were Councilors Myers, Primmer, Gutierrez, Hardin, and Davis. Councilors Kirwan, Beas-Fitzgerald, and Smith were excused. Staff members in attendance were City Manager Smith, City Attorney Gary Luisi, Assistant City Manager Mark Morgan, Sergeant Kelly Parsons (exited at 7:35pm), Chief Edmiston, Clint Spencer, Bill Schmittle, Roy Bicknell, Larry Fetter, Amy Palmer, Judge Creasing, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. News media present were Jade McDowell of the East Oregonian and Michael Cane of the East Oregonian. The pledge of allegiance was given.

Recognition- I Love My City

Mayor Drotzmann introduced Pastor Terry Haight from Hermiston Assembly of God Church and asked Pastor Haight to tell the Council about their message and project.

Pastor Haight thanked the Council for inviting and recognizing the church and its message. Pastor Haight stated he has lived in Hermiston for the last 21 years. Their church has always provided community service and outreach; but this year, the congregation used the concept of: I Love My City.

Pastor Haight stated the congregation continues to serve the community by doing acts of service, but has a clear message while doing so: I Love My City. Pastor Haight stated he has also been contacted by about 10 other churches from the area asking how they can be a part of this movement, which is a very wonderful thing. Pastor Haight stated the congregation is more than happy to help with items around the City; so if there are projects the City needs help with, just let them know.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked Pastor Haight and his congregation for all the work they have done and do in our community. Mayor Drotzmann stated he is happy to see all the red I Love My City shirts in the community.  

Proclamation- Small Business Saturday

Mayor Drotzmann read a Proclamation for Small Business Saturday encouraging the community to shop local on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and throughout the year.

Citizen Input

Virgina Garcia Rome 435 E. Sunset, invited the community, Council, and Mayor to participate in the MLK Jr., walk and celebration, on Monday, January 16th from 11:00am to 2:00pm. The walk will start at the Methodist Church and end at City Hall.

Consent Items

Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve all Consent Agenda items, to include:

  1. Minutes of the October 24th, work session and regular City Council meeting.        
  2. Minutes of the May 25th and August 24th, Library Board meeting.
  3. Minutes of the September 14th, Planning Commission meeting.
  4. Minutes of the October 4th, Faith-Based Advisory Committee meeting.
  5. Minutes of the October 18th, and November 1st, Transit Committee meeting.
  6. Minutes of the October 24th, Public Safety Committee meeting.
  7. Liquor License Application - “Full On-Premises Sales, Change Ownership” for La Hacienda Mexican Restaurant located at 285 E. Main Street.
  8. Liquor License Application - “Limited On-Premises Sales, New Outlet” for Kobe Hibachi Sushi Inc. located at 1055 S. Highway 395 Ste 100.
  9. Announcement of standing committee vacancies for the unexpired portion of a:
  10. 1-year term beginning November 28th, 2016 and ending October 31st, 2017

Parks and Recreation Committee- position #6.

  1. 3-year term beginning January 1st, 2017 and ending December 31st, 2019

Budget Committee- positions #1, #2, and #3.

Recreation Projects Fund Advisory Committee- positions #1 and #2.

  1. 4-year term beginning January 1st, 2017 and ending December 31st, 2020

Eastern Oregon Trade and Event Center Board- Combined (City/County) Motel Position.

  1. Remainder of a 3-year term beginning December 28th, 2016 and ending June 30th, 2017

Hispanic Advisory Committee- position #3.

(Deadline for submitting applications is November 29th, 2016.)

Motion carried unanimously.

2016-2017 Supplemental Budget Hearing

At 7:13 pm Mayor Drotzmann opened the hearing to consider a supplemental budget for the 2016-2017 fiscal year.

Finance Director Amy Palmer stated at times adjustments are needed in the budget as the budget is prepared well in advance. Resolution 2044, which will come before the council later in the meeting, supplements the City’s 2016-17 annual budget and authorizes additional expenditures in the Utility Fund and the Reserve Fund. 

The Utility Fund supplemental request is $1,420,200 for the following:

  • $1,390,100 for draining the sludge lagoon (originally budgeted in 2015-16 but unspent as of June 30, 2016);
  • $9,880 for additional engineering costs to monitor the treatment plant; and
  • $22,220 for pump repair parts.

The Reserve Fund request is $11,050 higher than anticipated to purchase pick-up trucks for the Sewer department.

No one in the audience wished to comment and the hearing was closed at 7:18 pm.

Mayor Drotzmann stated the original estimate to drain the lagoon was $1 million, and asked what happened to that estimate.

Finance Director Amy Palmer stated there was more material that needed to be removed than what was originally estimated.

Mayor Drotzmann stated 40% more material is a big miss for an estimate, and there were other options the Council could have taken.

City Manager Smith stated this cost would have been incurred regardless as the lagoon needed to be emptied. The other options are what the Council can decide upon going forward. A recommendation should come before the Council within the next two months regarding this issue.

Resolution No. 2042- Supersedes Resolution 2010 and re-adopts the financial policies for the City.

Finance Director Amy Palmer gave a brief presentation stating it is required that financial policies be reviewed annually. No changes have been made or are being presented.

Councilor Davis moved and Councilor Primmer seconded to approve Resolution No. 2042 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2043- Supersedes Resolution 2011 and re-adopts the City’s investment policy. 

Finance Director Amy Palmer gave a brief presentation stating it is required that investment policies be reviewed annually. No changes have been made or are being presented. The City has received an improved credit rating.

Councilor Gutierrez moved and Councilor Hardin seconded to approve Resolution No. 2043 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.

Resolution No. 2044- Supplement the 2016-2017 fiscal year budget (supplement #1).

Finance Director Amy Palmer stated Resolution 2044 would allow the supplement in the 2016-2017 fiscal budget as presented in the public hearing.

Councilor Davis moved and Councilor Myers seconded to approve Resolution No. 2044 and lay upon the record. Motion carried unanimously.               

Public Transit Service Agreement

Assistant City Manager Morgan presented the Council with a power point presentation regarding the proposed Public Transit Service Agreement. Mr. Morgan stated the intra-city fixed-route bus system provided by the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) through their KAYAK Transit system would loop throughout the City six times per day. The target start date for the bus system is January 2nd, 2017; the bus would operate Monday thru Friday 9:00am to 4:00pm, and would be free to ride for everyone. This fixed-bus route would cost the City $250,000. but, because the City is working with CTUIR, and CTUIR has a tremendous amount of experience in the public transit system, CTUIR will be applying for various grants for the City that will go towards this program. If approved for these grants, the City should only expect to pay about $125,000.

Mr. Morgan stated the City currently provides Taxi Tickets for seniors and people with disabilities with a cost to the City of $120,000 per year. This program started in the 1960’s when Hermiston population was about 4,000. Some of the challenges with the Taxi Ticket program are:

  • It is only for seniors and people with disabilities
  • There are no other type of public transit available in the City
  • Taxi riders do not have an immediate response time for taxi rides, and at times, must wait up to an hour for a ride.

Mr. Morgan stated although no public transit service is perfect, the City, CTUIR, and the Public Transit Committee have been working hard to come up with a better way to provide transportation services to the community and believe this comprehensive fixed-route bus stop system and contract is a big step in the right direction.

Mr. Morgan stated the fixed-route bus system will also need a name. Currently, there is an online survey people can participate in that includes names that the Public Transportation Committee suggested, to include:

  • HART (Hermiston Area Regional Transit)
  • Watermelon Express
  • Bulldog Express                                                          
  • Hermiston Looper

Mr. Morgan will be recommending a name, based on the online survey results, to the City Council at the next meeting.                               

The Council agreed this is something the City has needed and thanked Assistant City Manager Morgan and JD Tovey from CTUIR, for doing a good job at brining it all together. Councilor Primmer moved and Councilor Davis seconded to authorize City Manager Byron Smith to sign the Public Transit Service Agreement with CTUIR to provide a fixed-route intra-city bus route in Hermiston. Motion carried unanimously.

Portland Rose Festival

City Manager Smith stated about a year ago, a representative from the Portland Rose Festival spoke with him and Mayor Drotzmann regarding a new program they are working on called “Mini Floats.” Communities around the State are being asked to participate in their Parade to help showcase and promote their cities. The float will need to be made of all organic materials, by community volunteers, and will need a driver and potential walkers for the parade. These mini floats are usually built on top of a golf cart or gator, and usually costs $1,000 to $5,000.

City Manager Smith stated the City is looking for a community champion that would be willing to represent Hermiston and take on this project.

Audience members stated there are many talented individuals and groups that could head up this project to include the High School Senior Project, etc.

The Council agreed that this was a good opportunity to showcase Hermiston’s new brand and support this project with a budget of $5,000 and encouraged the community to participate.

Committee Report

Hispanic Advisory Committee: Councilor Gutierrez stated the Committee will meet on Monday, November 18th.

Mayor Drotzmann stated the Hispanic Advisory Committee will be appointing a new chair at this meeting.

Parks and Recreation Committee: Councilor Myers stated the Committee will meet on Thursday, November 17th.

Mayor’s Report

Mayor Drotzmann thanked all the Veterans for their service and congratulated the Council members on their reappointments to City Council. Mayor Drotzmann thanked Mark Gomolski for his participation in the election and stated he hopes he stays involved.

Mayor Drotzmann stated he has also been participating in many local fundraisers and encourages the public to support their community and participate in the Tree Lighting Ceremony on Thursday, December 1st @ 6:00pm on NE 2nd St and Main St in front of City Hall.

Council Report

Councilor Hardin stated the Hermiston Christian Center is selling Christmas Wreaths.

Councilor Gutierrez thanked Mark Gomolski for all his effort in the election campaign.

City Managers Report

City Manager Smith stated the City lead tested about 50 drinking faucets; both inside and outside of buildings to include: parks, etc, throughout the City. All came back negative for lead contamination.

Mayor Drotzmann thanked City Manager Smith and city staff for being proactive on this issue.


There was no other business, and Mayor Drotzmann adjourned the regular meeting at 8:25pm.

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