Community center project moves forward
With Cedar Ridge Middle School moved out of its location on Pleasant Street, the city is moving through preliminary stages of its plans to transform the space into the new Sandy community and aquatic center.
At the Dec. 4 City Council Meeting, City Manager Kim Yamashita presented two resolutions related to the project. One would allow her to reallocate Community Services Director Tanya Richardson and Planning Director Kelly O'Neill, Jr. to help with the project and also hire a new associate planner and senior services manager to fill in while Richardson and O'Neill have their focus elsewhere.
The second resolution would make this possible by reappropriating funds designated in the city's latest budget to allow for the $217,502 staffing expense.
"I think both of these personnel positions are desperately needed," Councilor Carl Exner noted.
"I'm so glad you're going that way because it's imperative we have someone focus (on this project)," added Councilor Olga Gerberg.
The council unanimously approved the changes to personnel and the budget.
Richardson told The Post that the community pool will remain open until at least late February to accommodate the Sandy High School water polo and swim teams' seasons.
"Our goal is to have the least amount of downtime possible," she said.
The team working on the community center project has so far just finished stakeholder meetings, and Yamashita hopes to reach out to the community for public input around the end of February or March and host an open house to present the city's conceptual ideas for the space.
"It's still very preliminary," she explained. "But we're moving forward."
In other news, the Council entertained a second reading by title only of its Apiaries, Livestock and Fowl ordinance, which was delayed by an initial abstention from Councilor Exner at the last meeting. This time the vote was unanimous and the ordinance was officially passed banning roosters, peacocks, peahens and turkeys from residences within city limits.
In other agenda items, Police Chief Ernie Roberts presented the council with a partially revised contractor services to the city of Estacada. The revisions were drafted and agreed upon by Chief Roberts, Yamashita and Estacada City Manager Denise Carey.
The new agreement better anticipates increases in cost to the police department to service the neighboring community by outlining a 5 percent increase in compensation (to cover salaries, benefits equipment, etc.) due every year from the city of Estacada. The contract also outlines a fixed amount of overtime the department estimates using for the year. Any unused time would be credited to Estacada.
"There's obviously rising costs," Chief Roberts said. "It's hard to break those costs (down). A lot of these changes were made to clarify."
"(The city of Estacada) has really been partners," Yamashita added.
The council also approved a request from Yamashita to put a three-quarter acre parcel the city owns up for appraisal with the intention to sell.
The land at 37615 Sandy Heights Street has long sat empty. It was originally sold to the city by a now-nonexistent Home Owners Association to be made into a park, but since then a neighboring development has filled the need for a park, and the city can't afford to develop it.