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Council awards $2,500 in grants to three SH organizations


August 1, 2017

The Sweet Home City Council awarded $2,500 in community grants to three organizations last week.

The council, in its July 25 meeting, voted 5-0 to grant $320 to the Singing Christmas Tree and $1,090 each to the Sweet Home Pregnancy Care Center and the Manna program. Hillside Fellowship and the Sweet Home Economic Development Group also requested funds from the program.

Voting to approve the grants were Lisa Gourley, Mayor Greg Mahler, Dave Trask, James Goble and Diane Gerson. Susan Coleman abstained because her husband is pastor at Hillside Fellowship, one of the applicants.

The council followed the recommendation of the staff and rankings by members of the council’s Administration, Finance and Property Committee. Members of that committee are Gerson, Goble and Trask.

The council awards funds through the program twice a year to nonprofit projects that benefit the residents of Sweet Home.

The Pregnancy Care Center had requested $1,544 to help pay for building improvements, replacing rusty flashing and leaky roofing.

The Pregnancy Care Center anticipates that labor will be donated. The PCC provides services and supplies and parenting classes to local parents, most often to single mothers in need.

Over the past eight years, it has served an average of 110 individuals annually.

The Singing Christmas Tree requested $320 to pay for sound equipment that it has been renting annually. The Singing Christmas Tree is a choir that performs a concert annually during the Christmas season. Its members range from age 12 to 80, and it is in the 36th performance year.

Manna requested $4,300 to replace ranges used to cook three free meals each week at the United Methodist Church. The Manna meal has been served since 2004. Ranges purchased with a grant in 2008 have started to fail. The grant will help replace the two residential grade ranges with a single commercial grade oven with 10 burners on the surface.

The Manna meal has no requirements for participation. It serves meals on Tuesdays, Wednesday and Fridays. They are provided by St. Helen’s Catholic Church, the Sweet Home Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, United Methodist and Fir Lawn Lutheran Church, with about 40 volunteers. It serves 650 to 850 meals per month.

Hillside Fellowship had requested $650 in funding to help pay for “Fun in Sankey,” a program aimed at providing a positive, supervised, healthy and safe activity for children on Wednesdays this summer. Activities include story time, music, snacks, games and crafts for 50 to 75 kindergarten and elementary school children, to provide enriching activities and recreation during the summer break.

Through SHEDG, Edie Wilcox sought $5,000 in funding to produce a tourism video for Sweet Home. The video is meant to highlight and showcase, on a modern platform, the assets and natural amenities Sweet Home has to offer. The goal is to promote tourism and help Sweet Home in pursuit of economic development.

In other business:

- Mahler said that Councilor Ryan Underwood’s absence was unexcused. He had missed numerous meetings previously.

“Just a preliminary notification, councilor Underwood will formally, next week, be stepping down from council,” Mahler said.

- Tim Goodman presented a $500 check on behalf of Comcast to Library Director Rose Peda to help pay for the library’s Summer Reading Program.

- Approved the payment of $1 million to CH2M Hill for the 2017-18 fiscal year to operate and maintain the city’s water and wastewater treatment plants.

Voting to approve the agreement were Coleman, Gourley, Mahler and Gerson. Trask and Goble voted no following discussion about the inclusion of city-owned vehicles in the contract.

“We give them a million dollars,” Trask said. “We have to give them a vehicle. We’re giving them a million dollars to run that place. That makes absolutely no sense to me. This would’ve gone away four years ago if I had known about this, in my opinion.”

The council will discuss the city’s contract with CH2M Hill during an upcoming work session about the utilities.

The city has contracted with CH2M Hill since 2006. Its most recent agreement was approved in 2015 and expires in 2031.

- Renewed and extended an intergovernmental agreement to pay $1,000 to remain part of a courier service among area libraries. Through the program, library patrons may check out books from other member libraries. In April, May and June, the library patrons used the service 213 times per month.

Sweet Home joined the group in 2014 using a state Library Services and Technology Act grant. Other members include Albany, Lebanon, Harrisburg and Scio.

- Approved a taxi cab license for James Hicks doing business as Priority One Taxi.

- Held the second reading of an ordinance granting a non-exclusive franchise to Northwest Natural Gas. The council will hold its third reading at its regular meeting on Aug. 8 and may then decide whether to approve the ordinance.


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