The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current, April 02, 2009, Page Page 20, Image 20

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    Page 20
The INDEPENDENT, April 2, 2009
Peyton to serve again on OYCCAC
From page 9
Youth with strong work skills,
positive future education and
employment goals are more
likely to achieve two important
Oregon Benchmarks:
• completion of high school;
• avoidance of juvenile crime
OYCC has a nine-member
Advisory Committee, three
members appointed by the
Governor, three appointed by
the Senate President and three
appointed by the House
Peyton is also the coordina-
tor for the Upper Nehalem Wa-
tershed Council (UNWC), a
nonprofit, volunteer organiza-
tion dedicated to the protection,
preservation, enhancement
and restoration of the Nehalem
Watershed. The council was
formed to share information,
reduce duplication of activities,
help address watershed man-
agement issues in the upper
Nehalem watershed and pro-
vide a framework for coordina-
tion and cooperation among
key interests.
Run with Extra Confidence
with Chevron
20 Years Ago This Month
From page 9
the city’s sewage collection and
treatment system.
Though the hearing had
been scheduled in advance,
the city staff was unable to an-
swer questions about the new
system because HGE hadn’t
yet submitted any plans. City
council members hadn’t seen
it, either, and could neither ask
nor answer questions based on
the plans.
Barbara Burton, a DEQ con-
struction grant specialist, made
it clear that neither the U.S. En-
vironmental Protection Agency
nor the DEQ will continue to al-
low the overflow of raw sewage
into the Nehalem River. How-
ever, Vernonia can be certain to
qualify for whatever funding
there is, she added, if they get
their application in by August.
Burton couldn’t say how much
money the city would qualify for
or whether the plan met funding
requirements because she
hadn’t seen the plan yet, either.
Vernonia is now number 8
on the State of Oregon’s priori-
ty list for corrective action, and
the city has no choice about
whether it will improve its
sewage facilities, only how it
will pay for the improvements.
If the city accepts federal or
state grant money, it will also
be required to operate and
maintain the facilities on a new
rate structure that will not allow
sewer revenues to mix with rev-
enues of any other project or
Vernonia presently collects
about $35,000 per year from
sewer fees, but it spends little
of that on the sewer system.
Approximately $30,000 of sew-
er revenue is now spent to de-
fray costs of the water depart-
Operating costs for the wa-
ter department are about
$120,000 per year, though its
revenues amount to only
$90,000. If the revenue from
sewer receipts can’t be used in
the water department, rates will
have to be raised in both de-
The total estimated cost for
the sewer system repairs is
around $3 million, with about
$2.5 million available from
grants and low interest loans.
The city would have to find
from $6-800,000 in matching
funds in order to qualify for the
Ed Crane of HGE estimated
that the new sewer rates would
range from $12-16 per month,
a 300-400% increase. He also
said he would provide the city
with plans by next Monday.
Emergency responses reviewed, cont.
The name you
trust for:
• Gasoline
• Diesel Fuel
• Oils • Solvents
• Additives • Greases
From page 1
cy and requested mutual aid
from other counties, the State
of Oregon, and the U.S. Army
Corps of Engineers.
The Columbia County Emer-
gency Operations Center was
activated at various times, as
well, to help coordinate and
manage resources and infor-
mation. Public infrastructure
damages and response costs
added up to several million dol-
lars, and local businesses were
impacted by snow- and water-
covered roadways. The costs
of responding to these emer-
gencies may impact budgets
throughout Columbia County.
In late January, representa-
tives from the cities, Columbia
County, emergency services
Action Ads
(503) 429-6606
720 Rose Avenue • Vernonia
agencies, non-profit groups
and state agencies met in
Clatskanie to discuss what
went well during the response
to the storms and what things
could be improved upon. The
issues presented help emer-
gency management officials
and elected leaders see if
emergency planning and train-
ing are working properly and
what more can be done to en-
hance response to future
events. After-action review ses-
sions such as these are typical-
ly held after any major emer-
gency or disaster drill.
The major strengths identi-
fied during the storms were as
· Road and utility crews
worked very well together, go-
ing to incident areas in teams
to make sure roads were clear
and that power lines could be
quickly restored.
· Citizen Emergency Re-
sponse Teams (CERTs) from
Clatskanie, Vernonia and St.
Helens were extremely useful
in assisting jurisdictions with
checking on citizens and an-
swering phone calls from the
· Multiple agencies stated
that WebEOC©, an incident
management computer pro-
gram used during the January
storms, was especially helpful
in coordinating information and
actions taken.
· There was prudent use of
the Columbia Alert Network
(CAN), an emergency notifica-
tion system operated by Co-
lumbia 911, to alert citizens of
possible mudslides and actual
flooding situations.
· Assistance from the Ore-
gon National Guard in the form
of Humvee four-wheel drive ve-
hicles was invaluable, allowing
emergency responders to as-
sist rural residents during the
heavy snowfall.
Throughout the storms, sev-
eral opportunities for improve-
ment in Columbia County’s
ability to respond to the in-
Please see page 21
Tickets now available for play
$4.50 for the first
10 words, then just
10¢ for each
additional word
From page 15
ducing stage performances in
Columbia County for 28 years.
Formed from a group of dedi-
cated individuals of the Read-
er’s Theater Group, SSCP was
officially founded in 1982. It is
a non-profit 501(c)(3) organiza-
tion, relying on volunteers for
every aspect of operations.
Their mission is to support the-
ater and arts through success-
ful productions and participa-
tion by the entire community.