Dufur School Superintendent Jack Henderson told Gorge Country Media that Dufur School will be running two hours late today, based on the understanding that Northern Wasco County PUD will be able to get power restored this morning.
Most of South Wasco County, from Auction Yard Hill near The Dalles all the way to Antelope,was affected by a major power outage. Residents reported the outage started near midnight and was back on just after 8 a.m. The problem was a BPA transformer relay that failed.
The reason it took so long to get back on was that Northern Wasco PUD happened to have their ThreeMile transformer offline for maintenance. They decided to put it back on line to cover the load, with is lengthy process.
Cable television rates in Goldendale won’t be going up after Home Telephone completes the purchase of J & N Cable. That was the word from Home Telephone President Garrin Bott, who appeared in person at the Goldendale City Council last night. “At this current time we don’t have any real rush to raise rates on anybody,” he told council members. “I mean, it’s going to be pretty much business as usual.”
Bott told councilors that Home Telephone, based out of Mt. Vernon, Oregon, operates telephone and cable companies in smaller towns in eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, and Idaho. He said that the company would lease space from J & N Cable so they could have a local office, and have made arrangements with John and Nancy to cover emergency situation.
Councilors also approved the use of grant funds in the amount of $78,405.80 to complete the installation of tank and pumper equipment as well as other modifications to the $175,000 truck that the city was able to obtain for free from the U.S. Army. When completed, the city will have a heavy duty pumper rig with a value of more than a quarter million dollars without spending a cent of city taxpayer money.
In addition, councilors voted to help out Mulrony Logging LLC, which is logging a portion of the city watershed under contract with the city. They are charging $34 per ton as the harvest price and the city is receiving $34 per ton for pulp wood from Kapstone. Public Works Director Karl Enyeart told councilors that the payments are being run through the city coffers because if Kapstone paid Mulrony directly, Mulrony will be liste as the first owner after the city and be required to pay the timber tax. When Kapstone pays the city, Kapstone pays the timber tax. The logging company asked if the city could send a check immediately after the city deposits the check from Kapstone, so they don’t have to wait for additional time for the payment to go through the council. Enyeart said they logging company has been waiting sometimes 6 to 8 weeks before being paid for their work. Councilor approved the request unanimously
Fully half of the meeting was taken up with presentations by local groups.
Dana Peck of the Goldendale Chamber of Commerce said the Chamber was actively working to add more video to their website and had contracted with a videographer to shoot and edit footage of events on October 1, which included the Harvest Fest, the Councours de Maryhill and the Maryhill Loops Hill Climb. The resulting 90-second presentation received 11,000 unique views on the Chamber’s website in its first eight days. Peck said they are planning many more.
Cathy Baldwin made a plea for an art space that could be used by the local art guild. She said they were looking for a space with running water to clean brushes, a bathroom, space to set up tables, storage for supplies and perhaps a concrete floor that wouldn’t be damaged if paint fell on it. She asked anyone with ideas to contact members of Art Guild.
And Felicia Gray proposed a Goldendale Central Park – consdstructed on Main Street between Columbus and Grant , that would contain a skate park, a central fountain and and area for performances. She said she thought downtown would need an attraction if the Performing Arts Center is built on the other side of Highway 97, and thought that grant funding would be available for its construction. She displayed conceptual drawings of the proposal.
In other news emerging from the meeting, Librarian Naomi Fisher told councilors that she was stepping down from her position, retiring to half time to become an outreach librarian, and Councilor Andy Halm said he had been hired as a dispatcher for Klickitat County Emergency services. Both said they were eagerly awaiting their new positions.
Here’s what the EPA said:
Crews have installed absorbent booms at the mouth of Rock Creek and around the wastewater plant’s discharge pipe along the Columbia River in Mosier as a precaution ahead of the anticipated rainy season. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality does not expect surface water contamination to reach the Columbia River, though the booms could be in place several weeks as a precaution.
The following is the text of a news release from Union Pacific. Failing lag bolts on a curve near Mosier were the direct cause of the oil train derailment, spill and fire at Mosier on June 3:
Union Pacific completed its rail fastening system replacement work throughout the eight miles of curved track in the Columbia River Gorge. The track throughout the curves is secured with a fastening system that includes spikes instead of lag bolts, enhancing defect detectability during inspections.
“We have a clear focus – to safely operate our trains and protect our communities,” said Wes Lujan, Union Pacific vice president – Public Affairs, Western Region. “The fastening system replacement reinforces our commitment to rail safety in the Gorge as we strive to improve upon our 99.98 percent hazardous materials safety record and achieve our goal of zero incidents.”
The company has made considerable safety improvements, reducing reportable derailments across the network by 35 percent from 2000 to 2015. In Oregon specifically, Union Pacific reduced reportable derailments by 58 percent from 2000 to 2015.