PENDLETON - Despite residents' objections, the Pendleton City Council on Tuesday evening directed the staff to proceed with connecting Northwest Fourth Street and North Main Street via Northwest Ingram Lane.

The council approved the project 6-1, with Cheryl Beck opposed. Steve Bjerke declared a conflict of interest and excused himself.

Northwest Ingram is a dead-end street and residents want it left that way, although they'd like it paved. But statements from the police chief, fire chief and public works director that extending Northwest Ingram to North Main Street would improve public safety access persuaded councilors.

Councilors received a letter objecting to the street extension signed by a dozen North Hill residents and four of them spoke at Tuesday's meeting, saying they were concerned about traffic and speeding in the area.

The city Planning Commission approved the proposed street extension in 2000 and it has been on the city's work plan since.

In other business Tuesday, the council:

•Tabled a proposed license agreement with Verizon Wireless for a vehicle easement across the Pendleton Convention Center parking lot. Verizon has placed a cellular antenna atop the Happy Canyon grandstand and has placed a concrete equipment building beneath it, but needs regular access to the building.

•Authorized City Manager Larry Lehman to continue participating in an exchange program with Croatian cities through 2006, but required him to use vacation time when he's away from work. Lehman is scheduled to travel to Croatia again in July and Croatians are expected to revisit northeast Oregon during the Pendleton Round-Up in September.

•Adopted the 2005-06 Capital Improvements Program, which outlines major city projects through 2009-10.

•Adopted city goals for 2005-06.

•Endorsed a liquor license change-of-ownership for Cimmiyotti's Restaurant and Lounge, 137 S. Main St., from Mike Baisley to JRL Management Co. Inc., owned by Jerald and Robert Lewis, with Larry Zweig as manager.

•Approved an agreement with Umatilla County that will provide the city with $54,000 from the Special Transportation Fund for Pendleton's transportation program in 2005-06.

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