Proclamations, a halted pump project and a cannabis bust payout

Clark with Community Diversity Engagment Committee member Carrie Brown presenting for Asian American and Older American History Month. 
Photo by QUINN STODDARD of Keizertimes

A full city council came together at the Keizer Civic Center on May 6 to look into city contracts, hold public hearings and review a series of resolutions. 

Four proclamations were given including awarding Tammy Saldivar Volunteer of the Quarter, as well as declaring the month of May Asian American, Native Hawai’ian and Pacific Islander Heritage month, Jewish American Heritage month and Older Americans month. 

The council listened to committee reports from Saldivar of the Traffic/Safety and Pedestrians Committee about the new youth liaison on the committee, Liam Stitt, as well as meeting with engineer Scott Mansur of DKS & Associates about the various traffic engineering and safety standards implemented in Oregon. 

Lore Christopher from the Public Art Commission gave a brief on the new Keizer sign, which cost $2,480, and will replace the previous Keizer sign which hung behind the council dais in the council chambers. The funding for the new sign will come from the administrative services fund. 

Council unanimously voted to approve the new sign for procurement and installation.

The only offered public comment came from Keizer Fire District (KFD) division chief Hector Blanco who spoke about what the district is doing in the city in terms of responding to requests for emergency services in the area. 

Blanco described how, operating with only one engine crew and three medic units, KFD responded to 591 calls in the month of April alone. He stated that, this year, KFD has experienced a 16% increase in call volume. 

Blanco also discussed the addition of a new engine this coming July as a result of the increased fire levy passed last year. 

KFD will be holding a community risk reduction and education campaign to aid Keizerites in reducing fire hazards while at home. 

A public hearing was held to review an informal solicitation from Cascade Water Works LLC in regards to the new Reitz water pump system being installed within the city. 

According to Public Works director Bill Lawyer, the original contract for installation was $34,511, authorized in Jan. 2024.

During the installation, the contractors found that additional work would be needed to be done to complete the project. This additional work involves solving an issue with the pump connecting to the pitless adapter within the well. Due to a layer of powder coated paint placed on the pitless adapter, the new pump was unable to be connected due to an improper seal caused by the paint, requiring the paint to be removed. 

This spurred Cascade Water Works LLC to seek additional funding for the project to the order of $28,858 which exceeds the percentage of the original contract amount allowed to be added to a public contract. 

Currently the new pump is sitting in the well, not connected or working. 

Discussion for the council revolved around trust for the company, pricing as well as possible outcomes. Lawyer noted that he was 100% confident that the noted issue was legitimate as well as that there is the possibility that the project could cost less than the reported amounts. 

Lawyer noted that if the paint is not the issue then it would likely require the project to be redone from the start.

The council moved to adopt the resolution which was approved unanimously. 

The council unanimously approved a fee waiver for the 2024 Expo Negocio event which will be held at the Keizer Civic Center on Nov 14. 

Matt Lawyer of the Planning Commission and the Claggett Creek Watershed Council brought a request for a fee waiver to hold the Soggy Day in the Park event at the amphitheater at Keizer Rapids Park. The event will be held May 25 (Memorial Day weekend) and boasts attractions such as a bouncy house, food trucks and representatives from the city’s neighborhood associations.

Keizer businesses are welcome to come, set up a tent or donate though no sales will be allowed at the event. 

The council reviewed an update to the ordinance managing how neighborhood associations in the city operated. The original ordinance was adopted in 1993 making the current update span the last 32 years. 

The review was over proposed amendments to the ordinance such as changing language to be more inclusive, update legal standards relating to discrimination and detailing social media usage to name a few.

Council’s discussion created several new amendments such as the standard for the amount of officers needed for an official meeting as well as the process and timeline associations must adhere to when adding or replacing association leaders. 

Mayor Clark posing with Rabbi Avrohom Perlstein who was presented a proclamation to commemorate Jewish American History Month. Photo by QUINN STODDARD of Keizertimes

and timeline associations must adhere to when adding or replacing association leaders. 

The council made a motion to approve the ordinance which was denied based on a 6-1 vote with Councilor Robert Husseman being the lone no vote. 

A resolution was looked at in regards to bidding done for the installation of pickle ball courts at Keizer Rapids Park. 

Bidding occurred on April 25 with the winning bid being $462,478.48 for installation and labor performed by Knife River Corporation at Keizer Rapids Park. 

This is an amenity already identified for construction in the Parks Master plan for Keizer Rapids Park. The original amount provided for the installation was $635,000, making the bid well-under the initially anticipated cost.

Council voted to approve the resolution, unanimously agreeing. 

Council discussed appointing a council member to the team responsible for receiving and reviewing proposals from companies to maintain and operate the turf field. This team will be composed of the city manager, Public Works director, Parks Division manager, a parks committee member and another staff member chosen by the city manager. The council will attempt to review the proposals and select an operation team in time for the fall opening of the field. 

Councilor Soraida Cross was chosen to serve as the council liaison. A motion was made to accept the resolution which the council passed unanimously. 

The city of Keizer has been pursuing a civil forfeiture as the result of a raid on an illicit cannabis growing operation here in Keizer as well as in Salem as previously reported by the Keizertimes. 

Police found and seized around 273 one-pound packages of cannabis, 4,085 plants as well as around $280,802 in cash. 

Seven were arrested and six homes involved in the operation were seized as well. 

An agreement from the accused party has offered a settlement which the city would like to accept. 

The settlement will allow the city to claim funds to pay attorney and other associated fees before the rest of the settlement is split between the state as well as the Keizer Police Departments drug enforcement activities. 

The council motioned to approve the resolution and passed it unanimously.

Mayor Cathy Clark and Councilor Dan Kohler presenting Tammy Saldivar of the Traffic Safety/Bikeways and Pedestrian Committee with the Volunteer of the Quarter award. Photo by QUINN STODDARD of Keizertimes

Contact Quinn Stoddard
[email protected] or 503-390-1051

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