C. Locks secures $400,000 for fire hall


News staff writer

July 29, 2006

Cascade Locks City Council approved a sale agreement Monday night of a 1.8 acre parcel, which secured $300,000 for a new fire hall in town.

Columbia Cascade Housing Corporation of The Dalles purchased the McCoy property for a 30-unit development mixing one-story flats and two-story townhouses.

That vote came on the heels of a $100,000 grant from the Sisters of Providence for the fire hall, which was approved last week. The total project is expected to cost $1.35 million with $700,000 from grants and the rest from the sale of city property.

The vote came with dissent as councilors Cindy Mitchell, Kerry Osbourn, and Tiffany Pruit voted against it as they had done at the July 10 meeting that approved the bid. Councilors Arni Kononen, Lee Kitchens, Rob Brostoff, and Mayor Ralph Hesgard voted for the sale agreement Monday night, which matched their votes from July 10.

The vote accepted immediate receipt of $10,000 earnest money with the final sale expected to close July 28. Mitchell asked for assurance that the city would not spend the money until the agency also received a grant they need in order to build the housing.

“The city can’t spend the money until the council passes a supplemental budget,” replied Kate Mast, the city’s finance officer.

One of the contentious issues in the community with the property is the issue of adding a large amount of daily traffic to a neighborhood with narrow streets and only one access route via Eastwood Avenue. Brostoff brought up the idea of using a separate road that comes off Ruckel Street to the site to assuage the traffic concerns.

“It’s called Slagle Lane but it’s a private road crossing private property,” said Russ Bradley, the city’s public works director. “It’s a possibility but going to need more research.”

Bradley had already spoken with one property owner in the area about the idea who said he would be in favor of the city making it a public street. The road would also have to be brought up to city standards as it currently is rocked but not paved.

In other business, the council:

* Said goodbye to RARE program volunteer Jay Feldman. He has been with the city for two years and is returning studying for his master’s program in economics at Cornell University in New York. During his tenure, Feldman worked on getting grant funding for the city’s south bank undergrounding project, the city’s fire hall, and an ODOT grant.

* Renewed the contract with OMI for operation of the city’s sewer treatment plant but increased the contract amount from $62,000 to $70,000.

* Approved paying $4,500 for the city’s part of repaving Cascade Street, which a contractor is repairing at cost after damaging it.

* Approved a wage increase from $8 to $9 per hour for Youth Activity Coordinator Rachel Brecheisen.

* Heard from City Manager Bob Willoughby, who asked the council how they wanted to tackle the task for reading the nine technical reports on the casino environmental impact statements. The city has so far received six reports dealing with water quality, biological resources, land use, socioeconomic, visual resources and utilities. The city expects three more documents in the next week, which are being sent to the city for comment as the city is an agency affected by the potential casino.

The documents are not available to the public from the city but can be requested through the Bureau of Indian Affairs or through the PR firm affiliated with the consultant HDR, Inc. of Portland, which is the contractor preparing the technical documents and draft EIS.

* Approved sending a letter to Multnomah County in support of cutting 1,000 trees blocking air tankers from landing at Troutdale Airport.

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