Stanfield water tower

The 2019-20 budget for Stanfield includes money to make structural repairs to the old water tower downtown.

STANFIELD — The Stanfield City Council passed a new budget on Tuesday that includes money for a road project and new community room at the library.

The 2019-20 budget is the last under city manager Blair Larsen, who is leaving June 19 to become the community and economic development director for the city of Sweet Home. He said he has enjoyed his time at city hall in Stanfield and the relationships he has built with area partners.

“It’s been a great six years,” he said.

The adopted budget includes money for feasibility and design work to add a “community room” to the Stanfield Public Library. The city would like to connect the library to the adjacent building and renovate the city council chambers there into new room that could host library and city events, as well as private event rentals.

Stanfield is also adding $61,000 in city funds to a $100,000 state grant to pave Harding Avenue. Larsen said the project will go from Main Street toward Edwards Avenue, as far as the funding will carry it.

In the public works department, the city currently has 2.75 regular public works employees and a seasonal worker. Larsen said there are projects not getting done around the city because of insufficient staff, which is why the new budget includes funds to hire an additional public works employee.

“The workload requires it,” he said.

The city is also putting aside $5,000 for code enforcement to use in abating some nuisances where the property owner is “unwilling or unable to cooperate” with code enforcement and the city deems it better to pay to clean up the problem itself rather than wait for the lien process.

At the end of 2018 the city surveyed residents about whether they would rather the city’s landmark former water tower be torn down or repaired and repainted. After two-thirds of residents voted to refurbish the tower, the city will complete $62,000 in repair work in 2019-20 and complete the remaining $123,000 of painting and repair the following year.

The developer of the Panoramic Ridge subdivision is donating land for a new park within the subdivision, and the city plans to use dollars from the fuel tax fund to start the process of creating the park, which will add new features over time as funding becomes available.

During its June 18 council meeting, the council plans to complete one final supplemental budget for 2018-19. The city recently sold a storefront it owned at 170 E. Main St. and plans to put that money toward the debt payment on its city hall.

Reporter

Reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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