Page 4 The INDEPENDENT, November 20, 2008 Council seeks Block Grant, discusses communication with Mayor Vernonia City Council met in Executive Session on Satur- day, November 15, and along with a community panel and an employee panel, interviewed three candidates for the open City Administrator position. The Council has not announced a selection in public session, but will do so once an offer has been made and accepted. After a public hearing at the November 17 Council meeting, Council approved a motion to apply for a 2008 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The grant funds, if re- ceived, are expected to go to- wards further flood relief efforts for affected homeowners. The grant awards will probably not be announced until sometime in early 2009 and would most likely be around $500,000. Interim City Administrator Jim Johnson gave a short pres- entation on Urban Renewal Districts (URD) after a recom- mendation to do so by the Eco- nomic Development Commit- tee. URDs are used to fund im- provements (street, utility, etc.), rehabilitation of existing build- ings, property purchase or im- provements, and re-sale or lease of property. URDs are funded by a cap on property taxes so that any increases in property tax rev- enue (for a given time period, usually 10-30 years) goes to re- pay loans used by the URD. This allows for improvements that can be expected to raise property values in the long run. The base property tax amount (below the increase) is still used as before. The risk is that the new ‘base’ property tax freezes the amount the city has for other uses. No more than 25 percent of assessed property tax value, or 25 percent of the city’s area, can be included in a URD. No specific URD projects have been identified, this was an informational discussion only. Discussion during a work session on communications is- sues included Councilor Cindy Ball telling Mayor Sally Harri- son that she has heard about downtown parking meters and that more than one person on the street told her Harrison has made promises to Tim Bero about things at the airport. Ball noted that neither of these items has been discussed by the council or in a council meeting. Harrison said she wanted to discuss the parking meters with business and community be- fore bringing it to council and that she made no promises to Bero, although she and Bero have discussed how his ideas might benefit the city. Councilor Brett Costley said, “Sally, I think your enthusiasm comes across as being the city’s. You need to make it clear you are not speaking for the city.” Councilor Steve Whiteman then spoke, saying, “None of us have any power outside the council. Sally’s strength is to go do things that help the city ap- propriately. The other side is that sometimes the perception out there is that Sally’s word is a guarantee.” Johnson summarized the discussion, “So, it sounds like it would be best to run ideas by council first.” Harrison thanked the council for pointing out these issues and concerns and agreed to make changes based on the discussion. In other business, council: • viewed a Powerpoint pres- entation on the Geographic In- formation System (GIS) the city has started working on. GIS is a sophisticated mapping pro- gram that can be used to view maps with overlays, such as sewer, street, flood area, etc. • held an executive session to discuss the employment of a public officer, but had no dis- cussion or statements in open session. The next Vernonia City Council meeting will be Tues- day, December 2, at City Hall, starting at 7:00 p.m. The meet- ing is being changed so inter- ested persons may attend the Columbia County Board of Commissioners Public Hearing at the Scout Cabin, on Monday, December 1 at 7:00 p.m., re- garding a zoning change re- quest for property at the airport. "What we're really talking about is a won- derful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?" — Erma Bombeck Happy Thanksgiving Community Calendar VERNONIA Alcoholics Anonymous Monday 6:30 p.m., 410 North Street American Legion Post #119 2nd Thursday 7:00 p.m., 627 Adams Avenue Arts & Crafts Society 2nd Thursday 2:00 p.m., City Library Booster Club 2nd Wednesday 7:00 p.m., VHS Library Boy Scout Troop 201 Tuesdays 7:00 p.m., Scout Cabin Boy Scout Troop 860 Wednesdays 7:00 p.m., LDS Church Cemetery Beautification Comm. 2nd Thursday 6:30 p.m., City Hall CERT 4th Wednesday For Info Call 503-429-3018 Chamber of Commerce 2nd Wednesday For Info Call 503-429-6081 Community Coalition 2nd Monday 12:30 p.m. School District Ofc. Cub Scout Pack 201 Scout Cabin For Info Call 503-429-4250 Friends of the Library 1st Tuesday 7:00 p.m., Vernonia Library Girl Scouts, Neighborhood 4-2 For Info Call 503-819-0143 Hands On Art Committee 1st & 3rd Thursdays 4:00 p.m., City Hall Izaak Walton League 3rd Thursday For location call 503-429-7193 Lions Club 1st & 3rd Tuesdays 6:30 p.m., Buckhorn Restaurant Municipal Airport Committee 4th Thursday 7:00 p.m., City Hall Narcotics Anonymous Saturdays 7:00 p.m., 410 North Street Pioneer Museum For Info Call 503-429-3713 Public Works Committee 4th Tuesday 7:00 p.m., City Hall Vernonia Cares Directors For Info call 503-429-1414 Vernonia City Council 1st & 3rd Mondays 7:00 p.m., City Hall Vernonia Community PTA 2nd Wednesday 7:00 p.m., WGS Library Vernonia Grange 3rd Monday 7:00 p.m., Grange Hall Vernonia Health Center 2nd Monday 6:00 p.m., 510 Bridge St. Vernonia Learning Center 1st Wednesday 6:00 p.m., VLC Vernonia Parks Committee 3rd Wednesday 6:30 p.m., City Hall Vernonia Planning Comm. 1st & 3rd Thursdays 7:00 p.m., City Hall Vernonia Pride 3rd Thursday 1:00 p.m., City Hall Vernonia Ridge Riders Last Thursday 7:00 p.m., Senior Center Vernonia RFPD Board 2nd Tuesday 6:00 p.m., Fire Station Vernonia School Board 2nd Thursday 6:00 p.m., District Office Vernonia Sr. Center Board 2nd Friday 1:00 p.m., Senior Center Vernonia Transfer Station 2nd & 4th Saturdays, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Behind VHS Vern. Volunteer Ambulance Assoc. 1st, 3rd & 4th Tuesday 7:00 p.m., Fire Station Vernonia Volunteer Firefighters 2nd Monday 7:00 p.m., Fire Station WOEC Directors 3rd Tuesday 7:00 p.m., WOEC MIST-BIRKENFELD M-BRFPD Board Business Mtg. 2nd Tuesday M-BRFPD Board Workshop 4th Tuesday M-B Ambulance Drill 1st & 2nd Thursdays M-B Fire Drill 1st & 2nd Wednesdays M-B Helping Circle 2nd Monday M-B SAR Drill 3rd Wednesday M-B Volunteer Assoc. 1st Tuesday Natal Grange 2nd Wednesday T.O.P.S. Mondays Upr Nehalem Watershed Council For date call 429-2401 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:30 p.m., Natal Grange Hall 6:00 p.m., Main Fire Station 7:00 p.m., Main Fire Station BANKS Alcoholics Anonymous Fridays 7:30 p.m., Methodist Church Alcoholics Anonymous Wednesdays 7:30 p.m., Methodist Church American Legion Post #90 2nd Tuesdays 7:30 p.m., Main Street Post Banks City Council 2nd Tuesday 7:30 p.m., City Hall Banks Fire District #13 2nd Wednesday 7:00 p.m., Station 13 Banks Library Commission 3rd Tuesday 7:00 p.m., City Library Banks Planning Commission Last Tuesday 7:00 p.m., City Hall Banks School Board 2nd Monday 7:30 p.m., Jr. High Library Banks Youth Group Sundays, Wednesdays 7:00 p.m., UMC Youth Bldg. Chamber of Commerce 1st Thursday 12:30 p.m., Fire District Office CPO 14 3rd Monday 7:00 p.m., City Library Friends of the Library 2nd Tuesday 7:00 p.m., City Library Lions Club 1st & 3rd Mondays 7:00 p.m., Brown Derby Sunset Park Assoc. 3rd Wednesday 8:00 p.m., Gun Club T.O.P.S. Wednesdays 7:00 p.m., Administration Bldg. COLUMBIA COUNTY (All meet in St. Helens unless otherwise noted.) Board of Commissioners Wednesdays 10 a.m., Courthouse Citizens for Senior Justice 2nd Tuesday 7:00 p.m., Sunset Park Church Columbia Soil & Water District 3rd Wednesday 7:30 p.m., NRCS , 2514 Sykes County Fair Board 2nd Monday 7:00 p.m., Fairgrounds 4-H Bldg. County Parks Commission 3rd Monday 6:00 p.m., 1054 Oregon St. Mental Health Advisory Comm. Quarterly For Info call 503-397-7211 Comm. on Children & Families 3rd Thursday 5:30 p.m. OSU Ext., 505 N. Hwy. 30 Local Alcohol & Drug Plann. Comm. Quarterly For Info call 503-397-7211 Organizations and meeting dates not listed may be included by calling 429-9410 or by mail to The INDEPENDENT, 725 Bridge Street, Vernonia, OR 97064.