The Weed City Council is scheduled to consider contracts with Roseburg for municipal water and stormwater flows during their regular meeting April 14, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. at Weed City Hall.
The Weed City Council is scheduled to consider contracts with Roseburg for municipal water and stormwater flows during Thursday night’s regular meeting at 5:30 p.m. at Weed City Hall.
City council members Kim Greene and Bob Hall said the council sent requested contract changes back to Roseburg and awaits a response.
The City previously signed a Memorandum of Agreement with binding terms, according to Ellen Porter, Roseburg's Director of Environmental Affairs. She said, “Roseburg is glad the City agreed to sign the MOA and we sincerely hope they will execute the remaining contracts so that we can put this behind us and work towards a continuing positive relationship in the future.”
The MOA includes 1.5cfs of water from Beaughan Springs for $97,500 due on July 1 of this year for the next 10 years with a five year extension option. The city must find other alternatives for 2 cfs of water, present their options to Roseburg within six months and begin acquisition of alternate water sources within two years. The cost of the water lease with Roseburg will increase by 2% each year after the first five years.
The exact subject matter of requested changes to the contracts and negotiations has not been made public, according to Greene. Hall said the council has tried to respond to the concerns of citizens with regards to the terms of the contracts.
When asked about the offer of a six-month extension brought up by Roseburg representatives during interviews and city council meetings, Porter said that offer was made quite a while ago and the last she heard about it “was that [Mayor] Ken Palfini said it would not be legal for them to accept it.”
Porter said Palfini had made the statement in interviews on radio and in print and that was the only response from the city.
Contacted about it, Palfini said that is not what he said.
“This is typical of their misinterpretation of the truth,” said Palfini. “I did not say it would be illegal.” He said he and the City have not been given any offer in writing and that he has only heard the offer from third party sources such as in interviews given by Roseburg staff to the press.
“They don’t stand behind what they do,” said Palfini.
City administrator Ron Stock said “Roseburg has repeatedly stated that they are willing to give us six months free, so we asked them for six months free... we proposed an extension of the lease, but I fully expect Roseburg to reject that proposal. We asked for a couple of changes, but we don’t know if any will be accepted.”
Palfini plans to request changes at the meeting “specific to language they have chosen to use. It’s suspicious why they would want to use those recitals in the contract,” he said, referring to the municipal water contract’s opening paragraphs which state the ownership history of Roseburg’s water rights as they see them – and with which Palfini, Hall and others disagree.
“I also don’t believe we should take industrial waste at all,” Palfini said, referring to Roseburg's use of the city’s sewer system, which does not currently include industrial waste or effluent but would be allowed by the new contract.
“If it creates the need for an EIR who is going to pay for it? Roseburg has to be responsible for that,” Palfini said. “The city can only change what the disposal costs are. In my opinion, they are no longer a municipal customer; we have no contract. If they don’t want to deliver our water, we don’t have to accept their poop.”
Councilor Hall said he believes the city should annex the Roseburg property. “They are in the middle of a community without any regulation by the city,” said Hall.
Stock said “annexation would not give us a nickel; it would cost us.”
He explained the process of annexation and that it requires the county to agree to share tax revenues, which they have never done in past annexation situations.