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Shuttle business owner lease city parking proposes to property for

The Times-Journal of Condon, Oregon

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Bobbi Jo Medlock met with the Fossil City Council at its Dec. 10 meeting with a proposal to lease the site of the former landfill as a location to park her river shuttle vehicles, to keep them off city street rights-of-way. The city council declared earlier that parking river shuttle vehicles on city rights-of-way and private property in residential areas of town is a safety issue and contrary to city zoning.

The former landfill is located just north of the current county solid waste transfer station. A contract will be drawn up and reviewed by the city's legal counsel with the particulars, including liability issues, and vegetation control.

On the matter of economic development, Wheeler County

Commissioner Anne Mitchell proposed putting together a work group of approximately 20 people with representatives from each of the three communities in the county. The mission of the group would be to develop a two-year strategic plan for Wheeler County. Mitchell suggested that the initial; meeting of the group be held the third week in January, with one or two meetings per month for the next six months. Councilor Judy Fessler will represent the City of Fossil on the committee and councilor Angi Humphreys is a tentative volunteer.

Regarding the city's web site development, Christine

Smith, who had earlier volunteered to to take on the development and maintenance of the web site, offered an apology for a lack of communications on the project. Smith had offered to design a simple site that would give the city a web presence with contact information, a brief history of the community, council meeting minutes and city ordinances, and which would require only quick monthly updates. The site was to be hosted on Smith's business hosting plan at no charge to the city.

The site ultimately has become more time-consuming than Smith's original offer intended. Modifications to the web site would include that City Recorder Teresa Hunt have access to the site so that she can update the site. With the modifications, according to Smith, would come a host fee of $48 per month.

Smith and City Recorder Hunt were to meet and determine a scope of work in keeping the site updated, which will be presented to the council when completed.

On another matter, Smith presented information to the council noting the locations of each of the planters that are located in the downtown area of Fossil. The information also denotes which planters are owned by the Fossil Community Action Group and which are privately owned.

Noting that he was not looking for responses at this time, resident Roger Morehead asked of the council two questions -What has the council done to improve the quality of life for Fossil residents? And, as next year is the 100th anniversary of the Wheeler County Fair, what does the council plan to do to improve the Third Street entrance to the county fairgrounds?

Resident June Rollins provided information about a recall petition stating that she is the person, and she alone, who is circulating the recall on city councilors Judy Fessler and Sarah Conaway, and that she is personally contacting residents about signing the petition, that it has never been out on counter-tops.

A discussion was started when Councilor Sarah Conaway commented that there seems to be disdain towards the council for trying to enforce city ordinances. She asked if the council should draft an ordinance repealing all ordinances "if we are going to enforce them?"

Councilor Tom McNeill commented on the ordinances the city is working from and on businesses in a residential area.

"These ordinances are not rules, they are not laws, they are not regulations; they are guidelines that we try to follow the best we can," Councilor McNeill said, "but I'm not willing to tell these people that they cannot have a business in a residential area when they might leave town and not spend money in this town."

In other matters, councilors:

— heard that the tree lighting ceremony at the Pine Creek Schoolhouse Park would be Dec. 15.

— heard that a community Christmas dinner would be served at the Kountry Kafe Christmas Day.

— requested that reports on city library activities be provided to the council twice a year.

— approved the OLCC renewal requests from RJ's Restaurant, Fossil Mercantile and the Fossil Hardware Store.

— heard councilor Judy Fessler present a draft instruction sheet for the contest to develop a City of Fossil logo.

— heard councilor Fessler report that the Historic Walking Tour brochure has been distributed.

— heard councilor Fessler request that the council act to have the espresso stand on the corner of 4th and Main street removed from city right-of-way.

— heard councilor Sarah Conaway report that a contract between Wheeler County and Jim Stephan has been approved allowing Stephan to store metal scrapping material at the county transfer station site, in reference to the city's interest in having the scrap metal removed from a residential area.

— heard councilor Conaway note that the propane tank used by the Kountry Kafe is on city property. It was noted that the tank had been where it is for many years and the council requested that city recorder research city records for any agreements that may have been made.

— heard councilor Conaway comment that there seems to be disdain among community residents for towards the council for trying to enforce city ordinances.

A tentative council work session on ordinance enforcement is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 28, 6 p.m. The next regular meeting of the Fossil City Council is Tuesday, Jan. 14, 7 p.m. at the Jeanne E. Burch Building in Fossil.

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Original Publication Date: January 2, 2014

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