City Council Special Meeting - Minutes

Date: 
Thu., Jun. 1, 2017

Mayor Drotzmann called the special meeting to order at 6:02pm. Present were Councilors Hardin, Beas-Fitzgerald, Kirwan, Primmer, and Davis. Councilors Myers, Gutierrez, and Smith were excused. Staff members in attendance were City Manager Byron Smith, City Attorney Gary Luisi, Chief Edmiston, and Lilly Alarcon-Strong. County Commissioner Larry Givens called the County Meeting to order at 6:02pm. Present were County Commissioners Bill Elfering and George Murdock, and County Counsel Doug Olsen. News media present was Jade McDowell from the East Oregonian. The pledge of allegiance was given.

Citizen Input on Non-Agenda Items

Richard Misner 1955 S Ott Rd- stated he was not asked permission and did not receive notification that EOTEC would be digging holes in his property for phone lines, or that EOTEC would be seeking more water as there is not sufficient water for those few residents currently living in the area. Mr. Misner asked if EOTEC had submitted an application for water from the Water Resource Board in order to do this.

City Manager Smith stated EOTEC held a special meeting and invited all EOTEC neighbors to participate in this specific topic not too long ago; unfortunately, Mr. Misner was unable to attend. City Manager Smith stated EOTEC has drilled irrigation wells but it is not enough water to sustain the facility and grounds. Currently EOTEC is leasing water through the Stanfield Irrigation District but is seeking longer term water rights options while having the least amount of impact on surrounding property owners.

Christopher Waine 2150 S Airport Rd- stated many late night events held at EOTEC end up with cars racing up and down the street, at times clearly intoxicated, with no headlights on as they race, and do not obey stop signs. He has called the Sheriff’s Department at times, and within mins the deputies have people pulled over due to these infractions. These actions are clearly dangerous and asked that security be established at the events to prevent these acts. Mr. Waine also stated loud noise continues to be an issue at these events, specifically the base from music, and recommends either having no base music after 10:00pm or not allowing events to take place after 10:00pm.

Dan Coffey 1810 E Airport- stated cars travel in and out of the area at 60mph and do not stop at stop signs. This is a safety concern for other drivers, as well as animals living in the area.

Craig Hansen 2505 Airport- stated vegetation on the left of Ott Rd is completely overgrown and should be taken care of as this is a safety issue when drivers are unable to see the roadway when trying turn onto the street. Mr. Hansen asked that EOTEC and the neighbors cooperate to resolve these issues.

Ryan Murray- stated the vegetation Mr. Hansen described is on his property and he will take care of the issue, but also voices the same concerns as those who spoke before him. He has had his fence taken down without permission; as a result, his animals escaped his property. The police were also called on his family for being on their 20 acres of land when EOTEC employees thought they were on EOTEC’s property. Mr. Murray asked that EOTEC and the neighbors come together for a solution to these issues.

Submitting Support for the Legislative Transportation Package

City Manager Smith stated the proposed Transportation Package that is currently under development would allow new revenue to be generated from gas tax and vehicle registration/title fees for transportation projects that would be dedicated to cities and counties for local streets, bridges, bike and pedestrian safety, and other projects as well. The Transportation Package would greatly increase the City’s ability to accomplish a number of transportation projects which the City would otherwise not be able to address; and, therefore, recommended that the Council support the Transportation Package through a letter of support signed by Mayor Drotzmann.

Commissioner Givens stated this Transportation Package is still in draft form and cautioned that there may be some changes that the City and County would not like to see, and the monies received would not be enough to address all the items needed.

Councilor Kirwan stated even with state funding from this Transportation Package the City would still need millions of dollars to address all of the City’s issues, and this Package would take a huge burden off of that figure. Hermiston needs this.

After more discussion, Councilor Kirwan moved and Councilor Davis seconded to approve the letter in support of the Legislative Transportation Package. Motion carried unanimously.

EOTEC

Staffing- City Manager Smith stated as instructed at the last joint meeting, he has spent time gathering information from similar venue types for General Manager Wages, to include:

  • Pendleton’s Convention Center- $80,000 Top
  • The Track- $84,000 to $114,000
  • Deschutes County- $99,000 to 133,000
  • Lunn County- $71,000 to $90,000

The EOTEC Subcommittee that reviewed these findings suggested that EOTEC’s GM be pay between $70,000 to $85,000 per year. With this figure, each entity (the City and County) would need to contribute an additional $30,000 each to the budget. EOTEC would then employ three positions:

  • General Manager $85,000
  • Administrative Assistant $40,000
  • Operations and Maintenance Personnel $50,000

Currently, these positions are being filled with Heather Cannel as the GM, a temp agency employee as the Assistant, and contracted custodial for Operations and Maintenance. These positions do not come with benefits, but benefits can be negotiated with the GM.

The Council and Commissioners also recommended offering sales income incentives for the GM and asked if management firms had been looked into as previously suggested. The Council and Commission asked that an aggressive search for a good management team begin immediately; hired, preferably, before the start of the Fair and Rodeo.

City Manager Smith stated Heather has been the GM and has been operating and marketing the facility, but more experienced marketing needs to be done. If applicants do not have the skill set that EOTEC needs, than management firms will be considered.

Commissioner Givens thanked the Council for allowing City Manager Smith to be on the EOTEC Board, stating Mr. Smith has been a tremendous asset to EOTEC and the Board.

Construction

Rodeo- Carl Hendon with Hendon Construction stated his crews are ½ way finished with the bleachers, trusses will be completed on the Mercantile building at the end of the week, and are working on the announcers stand, ticket booths, and other misc. items. So far, there have been no hang-ups and they continue to be on schedule.

Barns- John Eckhart with Knerr Construction stated the barns are progressing along, grass in the commons area is growing nicely, paving has been completed. Their crew continues to work on interior fencing, donor wall and monument sign design, Fair and Rodeo bathrooms, irrigation bid, and speaker system to be used as back-up for emergency services.

Commissioner Givens stated the Knerr Construction crews have also been working on a Security Trailer, also known as the “Cop Shop.” The Cop Shop will be used for emergency services personnel to take breaks during events. The trailer will have electricity and plumbing as well.

The Council asked both contractors when they believe their projects will be completed.

Both Contracts stated they believed they would be done two weeks prior to the Fair and Rodeo Event, with minor punch list items needing to be completed.

After some discussion the Mayor Drotzmann thanked the contractors and their crews for being committed to these projects and seeing them through.

Final Comments

Mayor Drotzmann asked that the City and County work together on a policy identifying who covers what in dealing with complaints and concerns.

City Manager Smith stated he will work on this.

Commissioner Elfering stated it would help the Sherriff’s Department to know when events are being held so deputies can be on hand to address these issues.

EOTEC General Manager Heather Cannell stated a Monthly Event Report is currently being given to the Hermiston Police Department, but will also begin to include the Sherriff’s Department in this report as well. Mrs. Cannell stated security is also hired for each event that serves alcohol; security staff is placed inside and outside of the facility.

Mayor Drotzmann stated this is the first year EOTEC has been in operation and there are and will continue to be many items that will need to be worked on and improved and asked for patience as these items arise.

EOTEC Board Member Dan Dorran stated he has arranged for EOTEC property tours to be given to anyone who is interested in participating directly after the meeting is adjourned.

Adjournment

There was no other business and Mayor Drotzmann adjourned the regular meeting at 7:20 pm.


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