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home : current news : current news May 25, 2018

4/3/2018 1:27:00 PM
City snapshot - noise, pot and paving
By Sue Stafford

• Senator Jeff Merkely will host a Town Hall at the Sisters High School auditorium on Wednesday, April 4, at 11 a.m.

• The City Council is continuing deliberation on a draft noise ordinance that would spell out in much greater detail the who, what, where, when, and how of requirements, variances, measuring of noise levels, and enforcement of the code. It was apparent at their last workshop that councilors are of various opinions, just as are the citizens.

Staff received some direction from Council regarding variances and decibels and will continue refining the draft ordinance. All five counselors were in agreement that as much ambiguity as possible needs to be eliminated. Steve Macey, owner of Hardtails Bar & Grill, presented a document containing 100 signatures gathered in 24 hours supporting changing from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m. the time music must end on Friday and Saturday night, July 1 through September 9, with no variance requirement.

• Councilor Richard Esterman inquired of the City attorney at last week's Council meeting if it was ever possible for the five councilors to meet in private without staff or press in attendance. The attorney informed him that private meetings of publicly elected officials are not legal. Even when they go into executive session, the press is allowed to attend, although they cannot report on what was discussed. Esterman told The Nugget that he misspoke and did not intend to suggest secretive meetings. He said he is looking for a way to be sure that all councilors can be fully informed on issues that come up suddenly before they have to make a decision.

• The City will be sending out a business survey along with their business license renewals to gather information from local businesses regarding issues of importance to them such as parking, housing for employees, street maintenance, City codes, and snow removal. The input received from the survey will provide some direction for the Council and staff in their planning for the 2018-19 fiscal year and beyond,

• Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) asked the Council for a letter of support to accompany ODOT's submission of an application for a Federal FLAP grant to repave Highway 242 from the east portal in Sisters up to the Dee Wright Observatory. Given the amount of time involved in the grant process, the paving would probably take place in 2020, provided ODOT receives the grant.

• Creekside Campground is now open for the season, with camp hosts on site beginning in May. Campers will find five new full-hook-up spaces, a dishwashing station, and WiFi available in the campground.

• The City legal team is working on the language for the City ballot measure that would appear on the November general election ballot, regarding whether the citizens of the city of Sisters want to allow the establishment of marijuana-related businesses within the city limits and if the City should impose a three percent sales tax on marijuana-related products sold. When the draft wording is determined, Council will review it and vote as to whether or not it will go on the November ballot.

• The City barbecue that was held for the first time last summer is scheduled for Thursday, June 21. The City will provide the food, beverages, and music.

• At their May 9 meeting, City Council will hold a public hearing on and be considering adoption of new water and sewer system development charges (SDCs) and a new methodology used to arrive at those rates. This would be the first time since 2011 that the rates would be adjusted, despite all the building that has taken place over the past seven years. The new methodology would result in a $99 increase in the sewer and water SDCs, which are the fees paid by builders of new construction. The new methodology, based on meter size rather than number of plumbing fixtures, is expected to reduce ambiguity and be a more customer-friendly approach.

• The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office conformed that there was a break-in at Dutch Bros. coffee kiosk on Cascade Avenue last weekend. No details were available at press time.

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