Busy night for The Dalles City Council

The Dalles City Council had a packed agenda last night. That was caused in part because the council meets on the second and fourth Mondays, and the fourth Monday this month is Memorial Day.

Among the items on the agenda were a budget presentation on Q-Life, the consortium jointly operated by the City of The Dalles and Wasco County bringing fiber optic capacity to The Dalles and more recently to Maupin and the award of a contract to reroof the main public works building.

Several of the action items were major decisions. One of the resolutions raised a number of fees for Planning Department services, burglary and robbery alarm permits and establish a fixed fee for new water and sewer services. Some of the increases are high on a percentage basis but low in actual dollars. The police burglary alarm permit, for example, would increase from $8 to $20. That’s more than double by percentage but only $12 more in actual cash. Some in the planning department are considerably steeper. The fee for annexation, for example, will go from $65 to $375, which is a more than 500 percent increase or an additional $310 in cash. The staff report explained that many of the fees covered only a fraction of the cost to the city to perform those services, and even after the increase were below those of nearby cities and those of similar size.

Another key vote transferred jurisdiction of certain criminal misdemeanor offenses from the city’s municipal court to the Wasco County Circuit Court. The city has agreed to pay Wasco County an annual payment of $80,000 the first year to handle the additional caseload with a 3 percent cost of living increase in each year thereafter. After the meeting, City Attorney Gene Parker outlined the sort of cases that will go to the Circuit Court:

Parker said basically the municipal court will hear traffic cases and violations of city ordinances.