The Dalles City Council Recap 5/11

The Dalles City Council met last night. At the beginning, Dr. Mimi McDonell of the North Central Health District gave the latest coronavirus update:

North Central Health District’s Dr. Mimi McDonell

Dr. McDonell reported that Wasco County had successfully met all of the governor’s requirements to ease restrictions, which led to a good piece of news from Wasco County Administrator Tyler Stone:

Wasco County Administrator Tyler Stone

On the sad side, Councilor Rod Runyon, who’s on the board of the Columbia Gorge Veterans Museum in The Dalles said that the building the museum was housed in, the former American Legion building, had been sold about a year ago.  

The Dalles City Councilman Rod Runyon

In a twist at last night’s meeting, rather than have citizens being able to take an active part via Zoom or other means during public hearings, the council live-streamed the meeting online, so that the public could only passively listen. Instead, the meeting notice issued last week said that those wishing to testify would have to submit comments by email by last Friday, May 8 by 3 pm. This change was allowed by Oregon governor Kate Brown as part of her executive order of April 15. Not surprisingly, no comment was received by the public for either of the two hearings held last night. One was a modification of the city’s municipal code, which would require new industries above certain size to provide a detailed response plan in regards to fire or medical emergencies. That plan which would have to be approved by Mid-Columbia Fire and Rescue as part of granting a city permit. Chief Bob Palmer put it this way:

Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue Chief Robert Palmer

The motion to modify the city code passed unanimously.

And Mayor Rich Mays gave a salute to the Salvation Army, after reading an excerpt from a letter written to the city:

The Dalles Mayor Rich Mays