May 012015

By Sam Conner

The Winslow City Council approved City Attorney Ellen Van Riper’s contract Tuesday evening.

The contract will be for three years from the date of approval by the mayor and city council and will end on April 30, 2018, unless the parties agree to an extension in writing. The advanced written notice for termination has been increased from 30 to 60 days.

Council members and the City Manager Stephen Pauken spoke highly of her service. Pauken noted that she had addressed the state liquor board and gotten them to deny a license the city did not want approved.

Van Riper noted that she has enjoyed working for the city and looks forward to continuing to do so.

Under the new contract monthly compensation stays at $6,500 for the first year, but increases to $6,800 for years two and three. The hourly rates for other attorney services stay the same for all three years. The number of included trips to the city stays the same at three per month. Reimbursable expenses are the same at cost, but long distance phone charges have been eliminated.

The council discussed the impact of subsidies and capital on the budget. Persons spoke for subsidies for the Council on Aging, the Old Trails Museum and the Winslow Little League. No action was taken, but it was reported that there would be a budget work session on Tuesday, May 12, with a draft copy available for the council on Friday, May 8. The final budget is scheduled for approval on Tuesday, June 23.

The council also heard a USDA Rural Development presentation for the wastewater treatment plant. The award was given on Earth Day because of $7,183,000 in improvements to the plant.

Pauken reported that staff members met with representatives of the adult probation department about instituting more city cleanup sessions. He said that the department needed more equipment such as hoes and rakes, and would appreciate any donations brought to them at 605 E. Third St.

Finance Director Teresa Foy gave the monthly financial report. She noted that the general fund is $135,000 in the red and lower revenue from the state is expected.

The consent calendar was approved, including the check register, minutes of the April 10 council meeting, declaring two vacancies on the Arts Council and appointment of April Neill to fill one of them, and reappointment of Rickey Jackson to the Board of Adjustment.

Judy Howell spoke during the call to the public and said that she had a visitor who had warned her that there was a possibility that Winslow might lose the Northland Pioneer College facility. Consideration of action to keep NPC was proposed as a future agenda item.