ECHO - Echo City councilors decided the city will build a small, street-style skate park that can be expanded when more money is available.

Echo has already set aside a 40-foot by 5-foot by 70-foot piece of asphalt for the park, located in town between the Umatilla River bridge and Dupont Street.

Described as "street-style," the skate park will have rails, spines, kickers and a picnic table that skate boarders can use to hone their skills.

The design chosen at the recent meeting offers more launching and quarter pipes than the other design considered. It will also be more compact, allowing the city to expand the park as funds become available, said City Administrator Diane Berry.

City Councilors also approved raising water and sewer rates to build reserves depleted by repairs during the past year.

The increases will be phased in over a two-year schedule.

On May 1 this year, water rates will increase from $18.50 to $23. Sewer rates will increase from $18 to $23.

On May 1, 2006, water rates will increase an additional three dollars to $26, and sewer rates will increase $4 to a total $27.

"The auditors recommended we increase our reserves so our balance sheet looks better," Berry said.

She said the records are in the black as far as cash is concerned, but based on auditing that calculates depreciation costs of the 30-year-old equipment, the balance sheets appear in the red.

At the meeting, councilors also discussed a dangerous animal ordinance that would limit the type of animals that could be brought into town.

The ordinance was brought to the council because children have been spotted carrying a large snake around town, Berry said.

The ordinance would likely prohibit the snake from the town's boundaries, she said.

She said she did not know who owned the snake, and said that the person or persons have not yet been notified of the potential ordinance.

"I personally haven't seen it, but I've had reliable people see it. They took it into the grocery store in December," Berry said.

The ordinance will be voted on at next month's meeting.

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