The Dalles City Council wrapped up its business for the year in a marathon 4-hour session last night. Normally, the council meets twice a month, but a second meeting in December would fall on Monday the 27th following Christmas weekend, so the council won’t meet again until January. Part of that lengthy meeting was an executive session that lasted more than an hour. Following the executive session discussion, the council reconvened in open session, and Councilor Darcy Long made the following motiion:
“The City Council moves to not authorize additional funds for the General Aviation Gorge Services LLC vs. City of The Dalles and Klickitat County litigation.”
Without further discussion, councilors unanimously approved the motion. The reference is to a case filed against The Dalles and Klickitat County, which jointly own the airport, by the previous fixed base operators, Gorge Aviation Services, LLC, which had its lease terminated after a dispute with the city and county.
Another lengthy section of a meeting took up the topic of the city-owned building known as the Waldron Drug or Getchell building, which is the oldest commercial building in the city, but has been unoccupied for years, and is stranded without street access between the railroad tracks, Lewis L& Clark Festival Park and the city’s wastewater treatment plant. A local group has formed to save the building, which has has exhibited some structural problems. In an unusual move, Mayor Rich Mays invited the immediate two previous mayors to comment:
Former Mayor Jim Wilcox said: “It’s an attractive nuisance the way it stands, because people can’t access it just by walking there. And as far as drawing people to The Dalles to look at it, I don’t think so. They say, ‘Why is that ugly thing still standing?'”
Former Mayor Steve Lawrence added: “And the city is not in a position to spend great gobs of money on a building that’s very dangerous.”
Despite their testimony, councilors voted to fund a engineering study on the soundness of the building and whether it could be safely moved to a better location.
In one other key item, councilors decided to postpone a vote on a proposed 5 percent garbage rate increase for The Dalles Disposal until the first meeting in January.