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Baker City Weekly Report

December 3, 2010

 The Courthouse flood has reminded us that pre-planning for similar events is an important function of staff as
well as the Council. In events such as natural disasters, terrorism, and even accidents it is imperative that the
Council be involved in the oversight of an event such as this. I would recommend that any of the Council that
has not attended a basic incident command (ICS) training get in touch with the City Manager or Fire Chief and
look into setting up training.
 Last month the City entered into an agreement with Agility Recovery. The service is at no cost through our
insurance. If something happens in Baker City that forces the City to leave our buildings, or we lose power or
phones, Agility will provide us with the equipment to continue operations at another location. You can learn
more about Agility Recovery at
 Staff is working on putting together an interim budget meeting on January 18th at 6p.m. The presentation will
include information from the Cities auditing firm, how the current budget is progressing, and a draft budget
meeting schedule for the spring of 2011. We will invite those citizens who have applied for vacant positions on
the budget committee to attend so they will have the information should they be appointed.
 Charter Cable turned of KTVB this week seemingly paying little or no attention to their
customers in Baker City. The City Manager has made inquiries of other cable television
providers concerning providing service within Baker City.

Potential Agenda Items for December 14, 2010:

 Coordination agreement
 Cured-in-place pipe bid award
 Boards and Commissions, Historic District Design Review Commission

WEEK OF 11/18/2010
 BCPD opened 18 new cases this past week, making multiple arrests. Two search warrants
were served and two arrests were made, related to the 10th Street business burglaries.
 BCPD personnel attended Taser training, certifying our officers to carry the weapon.
 BCPD Evidence Technician/Administrative Assistant Valeria Hysong, who is also a certified
car seat technician, participated in a car seat clinic for our community.
WEEK OF 11/25/2010
 BCPD opened 25 new cases this past week, making multiple arrests. One of those
arrests was another related to the 10th Street business burglaries.

Figure 1 Reader board at "The Little Pig", offering the Baker City Police thanks for solving the burglary.
 Officer Dee Gorrell was sworn in on November 30th, beginning his career with our

Figure 2 Becky Fitzpatrick administers the oath to Dee Gorrell.

Figure 3 Chief Lohner presenting Officer Gorrell his Baker City Police badge.
 In the wake of the courthouse damage, BCPD was able to offer space for various county
 Baker County Justice Court moved their court room into our
training/briefing/emergency operations room, while space was created at the
front desk for their office staff. Judge Yervasi has set up an office in an
interview room.
 Deputy District Attorney Storz will be spending the majority of his time in our
building, sharing space in the Sergeant’s Office.
 Grand Jury was also held in our police facility this past week.


The Baker City Fire Department Responded to a total of 66 emergency alarms for the past two weeks. Breakdown of
emergency responses:

General Alarms 1
Still Alarms 5

Fire responses are broken down as follows:

 Carbon monoxide detector activation.
 Odor investigation.
 Fire alarm activation (false).
 2 rescue calls

Rural Calls 20
City Calls 40

Transports 43
No Patient Trip 19
Out of town transfers 5
Airport Transfers 0
Motor Vehicle Crash 10
Doubles 13

78hours of training consisting of:
 Fire: Walk through of the Baker Towers 3rd floor. Radiological training from State of Oregon and Officer
Development training including NIOSH review of firefighter fatalities.
 EMS: Pediatric poisoning and congestive heart failure and Capnography.
136 hours of station and equipment maintenance including:
 Weekly medication inventory and replacement of expired medications.
 Station, apparatus and equipment maintenance.
 Update and integrate State Fire and EMS reporting systems.
 Snow removal.
Additional services include:
 Stand-by support for BHS football playoff game.
 Set up for Firefighter 1 academy for new volunteers.
 Meet with rural fire districts on motor vehicle crash responses.


 Crews have been busy sanding city streets in order to provide better traction for vehicles. The Public Works
Department is planning on increasing its sanding practices and decreasing salting of streets both this winter and
in future winters. There are pros and cons to each method.

Sanding Pros
 An excellent way to aid traction;
 It is visible to drivers;
 It is relatively inexpensive;
 Sanding is effective at any temperature.

Sanding Cons
 If you sand you will have to sweep up the sanding rock in the spring;
 The rock used when sanding will enter the storm water collection catch basins and piping, making it
necessary to clean catch basins more frequently;
 Rock will be plowed with snow onto residents yards and onto sidewalks;
 Sanding quickly gets "driven out" of the tire track areas;
 It can chip windshields;
 It can make the air dusty when swept up by the street sweeper.

Salting Pros
 Salt is very effective at melting packed snow and ice between the temperatures of 20 and 32 degrees,
thus aiding in evaporation and drying out of the road surface;
 No clean-up is necessary in the spring.

Salting Cons
 Salt adds salinity into the ecosystem;
 It is harmful to concrete surfaces and causes metal to rust;
 Salting is not very effective once the temperature drops below 20 degrees;
 Salt is more expensive than sanding rock;
 Salt isn't visible to drivers, so they are unsure if the road surface is slick or not.
 Maintaining the supply of sanding rock is also a necessity this time of year. This rock is stored in the
equipment shed near the warehouse. ODOT provides the sanding rock at no cost to the City, as the rock is used
by Cit crews to provide better traction on some of the road surfaces under ODOT‟s jurisdiction.

Sanding occurs in the following areas: Main Street, Resort and Campbell Street intersection, Walnut and
Campbell Street intersection, the pathway and Campbell Street crossing, Campbell and Cedar Street
intersection, Campbell and Birch Street intersection, Kirkway and H Street, Campbell and College Street, Hwy.
7 underpass, David Eccles and Hwy. 7 intersection, H and 10th Street intersection, H and 13th Street intersection,
Colorado and Foothill Drive intersection.
 On the subject of snow… Crews went home from their regular shifts Tuesday evening, with four men gearing
up for snow removal duty at midnight. The midnight shift runs from 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Snow Routes 1, 2,
and 3 Streets are first on the list to be addressed during plowing season. A copy of the snow plow route map
can be found on the City‟s website. Snow removal equipment used during the midnight shift included one city
grader, one ODOT grader (until 6:00 a.m. when ODOT came to get it for their use), and two city backhoes.

The second crew, consisting of four men, started their snow removal shift at 2:00 a.m. to begin picking up the
snow berms. The snow removal equipment utilized by this crew included one city loader and three city dump

The third crew (three men) came on board at 7:30 a.m. to continue removing snow. The equipment used by this
crew included a seven-yard dump truck with an under-carriage scraper and two backhoes. The City grader‟s
snow wing was in need of repair prior to it doing additional snow plow work, so it was not used on this shift.

Any remaining personnel on their regular work shift on Wednesday were salting and sanding streets, plowing
the Leo Adler Memorial Parkway, and/or collecting and shipping water and wastewater samples to be mailed to
the laboratory in Twin Falls.

On Thursday a four-man crew started their work day at 4:00 a.m. That crew was tasked to pick up the snow
berms around the courthouse, Main Street, Broadway, 10th Street and Campbell Street. During the day shift,
there was a two-man crew plowing the remainder of our Route 2 and Route 3 Streets.

A two-man crew reported for duty today at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday to plow the streets surrounding North Baker
School. Baker County courthouse staff is temporarily relocating to the North Baker School while the water
damage at the courthouse is being addressed. Plowing these streets will assist in providing additional parking
for staff and the public. A two-man crew will complete plowing the remaining Route 2 and 3 Streets today,
while other crews will be sanding and salting streets as needed.

Figure 4 Removing snow berms.
Figure 5 Dumping the snow berms at the Ellingson property.

 Along with snow plowing, berm removal, street sanding and salting, there are 216 property owners that possess
“snow stakes”. These snow stakes alert city staff to remove the snow in the driveway which is produced from
plowing the street adjacent to the stake holder‟s home. The snow stake program has been in place for the last
four years. The program was created to provide snow removal assistance to the elderly or disabled or
individuals that may have difficulty shoveling snow.

 Prepping for the Christmas season was in full swing this week. Crews began hanging Christmas garland and
wreaths on Monday at Main Street. On Tuesday a crew decorated the Court Street Christmas tree. On
Thursday the Broadway Street snowflakes and 10th Street candy canes were hung on light poles with care, in
hopes that Old Man Winter would ease up for the fare. On Friday crews will begin adorning Campbell Street
light poles with snowflakes.

In a conversation with Jim Adamson, the Public Works Director from 1972 to 1994, we were able to get some
fun Christmas décor historical information. The Main Street garland has been a part of our Christmas fleet
since the 1950s. The candy canes have been lighting up 10th Street since the mid-„60s. The Main Street
wreaths have been around since the „70s, when Main Street was constructed. And, as you probably will
remember, the snowflakes for Campbell Street and Broadway Street were brought on board just a few years
Figure 6 Justin and Blain hanging decorations.

Figure 7 Dennis and Steve installing candy canes on 10th Street.
Figure 8 Justin and Blain decorating the tree.
 The two-man water crew of Jones and Bachman were trekking along in the snow at Elk Creek in order to
modify the level of water coming into town on Monday at the Elk Creek Diversion.

Figure 9 Snow in the watershed.
Storm water
 Minor repairs were made on D Street where a PVC fitting fell off of the inlet piping into the catch basin.
This pipe was installed by a contractor as part of the 2009 D Street Improvement Project.

Figure 10 PVC fitting that became disconnected.

 The wastewater mainline near the intersection of 8th Street and Baker Street had sunk below the manhole grade
and was in need of repair. The mainline had to be raised in order to improve the lines flow characteristics, thus
keeping the line from becoming blocked. Once the main line was exposed by the crew, it was raised by hand
tamping material under the line.

Figure 11 Repair of wastewater mainline.

 The photo below shows grease clogging a private sewer lateral. This photo was taken by a city crew with the
sewer truck‟s TV equipment. A City sewer crew has been working with a private plumber to help remedy this

Figure 12 Grease blocking line.
 Grease is a problem for all wastewater collection and treatment systems - commonly referred to as F.O.G.
(Fats, Oil and Grease). Although business owners and home owners should not put fat, oil or grease into
their drains, it happens all of the time. City crews regularly have to pressure wash wastewater lift stations in
order to prevent build up of material such as this. There are some wastewater lines in town that are so
plugged with grease that the City T.V. inspection camera cannot break through.

F.O.G. and tree roots pose the biggest maintenance problems in our collection system. Restaurants are
required to have grease traps in their sinks, and those traps should intercept grease as it comes down the
line. However, if the grease traps are not maintained properly, it will begin building up in the sewer line
and eventually will clog it.

 Michelle and Gary attended the North East Area Commission on Transportation in La Grande on Thursday.
Updates on project funding and a report from Rep. Greg Smith were informative.

 Long time Public Works employee Don Hutton retired on Tuesday, November 30th after 32 years with the City.
Several former and current employees were on hand for a farewell lunch supplied by the Baker City Employees

Figure 13 Don Hutton retires after 32 years.

 Provided assistance to the City of La Grande with ideas for the creation of an Economic Improvement District
and establishing business licenses.
 Provided assistance to the Oregon State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) with current addresses for
multiple Nationally Registered Historic Buildings as they are updating their database.
 Met with the City Manager and Grant Young, our regional representative from the Department of Land
Conservation and Development (DLCD). We discussed possible grant opportunities for Baker City and
amending our comprehensive plan for the new maps we have been re-creating.

Building Department report for the 3rd and 4th week in November:
 195 Building Permits issued in 2010.

Permits Residential issued in Baker City:

 480-sqft garage at 3708 Grace
 400-sqft carport at 2643 Mitchell
 1278-sqft living space, 540-sqft garage for a new home at 490 2nd
 Fire damage repair rebuild of a duplex unit on 1818 7th

Permits Residential Baker County:

 720-sqft pole building structure in Sumpter

Permits Commercial Baker City:

 4200-sqft-storage building for Oregon Trail Bullet co. at 2850 Myrtle
 New office partitions at OTEC at 4005 23rd
 New windows at the Dairy Queen 2400 Broadway
 New windows for the remodel of the Pythian Castle 2005 Washington
 New doors at the Baker High school Gym stair system

Future Commercial Projects:

 The Lime Wind Electrical Generating project is in planning stage, Building plans are
scheduled to be submitted in the spring of 2011.
 The start of Recovery Village 11/13/10 permit is ready to be issued.
 Medical Arts Center is in the Plan revision stage for final draft of the project.
 Baker County Court House water damage will require permits for repair.

Compliance Baker County:

 Pleasant valley a doublewide Manufactured Home placement was Red Tagged stop work
because of no planning approvals or building permits. Also the same owner building is
building an attached garage without planning approval or building permits.
 Sumpter area on Cracker Creek a 5,000 sq. ft. shop was Red Tagged stop work for no
planning approvals or building permits.

Finance Director

 As of December 2nd the City has received $2,168,920 in current year property taxes and $91,023 in prior year
property taxes.
 November‟s revenue and expenditure report will be available December 23rd.
 Zone 4 was billed November 24th which included 691 residential and 58 commercial accounts. Of those
accounts 109 or 15% are signed up for direct payment.
 92 late notices were sent November 23rd and 89 late notices were sent November 29th.
 Last week eight residential customers (Zone 3) were scheduled to have their water turned off for non pay (over
60 days past due) six of those were actually turned off until their past due balance was paid. This week six
residential customers (Zone 4) were scheduled to have their water turned off for non pay (over 60 days past
due) one of those were actually turned off until their past due balance was paid.

Accounts Payable
 The second of two accounts payable check runs for the month was generated
November 30th.

 Seventy five employees were paid on November 26th including ten paid “volunteer firefighters”. Of those 75
employees 66 or 88% are signed up for direct deposit.

LID Billings
LIDs are billed every six months over a twenty year period. Interest is charged at the Local Government Investment
Pool Rate plus 1% which is currently an annual rate of 1.55%. These LIDs can be paid off at anytime with interest
charged through the payoff date.
 Three 2004 Birch Street LIDs were billed November 30th. The original assessment in 2004 for Birch Street
improvements included 4 property owners for a total of $90,416. The remaining balance outstanding is