UKIAH - Construction at the Ukiah Senior Center is on schedule, with a walk-through to check on final details planned for the third week in August.

The city will need an occupancy permit from the county, at an annual cost of about $100, and the county Health Department will certify the kitchen.

CAPECO, the Community Action Program for East Central Oregon, plans to provide meals at the center on Fridays, along with blood pressure checks and other services. CAPECO will ask for a $2.50 donation from seniors and children, and $5 to $6 from others for each meal. CAPECO will need two or three volunteers servers and a paid cook. The cook position will pay $9.35 per hour for 10 hours a week. A job announcement will be posted at the Ukiah Post Office and other public places this week.

Ukiah has received a $1,000 planning assistance grant from the Land Conservation and Development Commission. The grants are made every two years to each community in the state, and may be used for any planning-related activity.

Mayor Clint Barber reported that the county Road Department repaired three ditches left across residential streets when the city installed sewer and water hookups for new houses. The city repaired an irrigation line at the ball field, and will need to replace a fire hydrant there at a cost of about $1200. The city also repaired a sewer line that was crushed when a property owner installed his own sewer line last year. The work included Roto-Rooter and a backhoe, and the city plans to put a lien against the owner's property to cover those costs.

Barber attended an all-day meeting in Pendleton as part of his certification to run the water and sewer systems. He has sent in samples of the city water, as required by the state, for tests including lead and copper, organic and inorganic chemicals, and nitrates. The test will cost $200-$300. During the power outage Monday night, when the city pump was not working, the reservoir came close to running dry.

Over the past few months the city has sent letters to water users who are behind on their bills, and a number of people have made payments or caught up entirely. The council decided to send letters to anyone who is more than three months behind asking for a substantial payment by Aug. 15. If payment is not received the city will shut water off on those accounts.

The water rate committee has determined that the city has 125 water connections, and that $41.25 per month for 20,000 gallons sounds feasible for the next two years. The city plans to put the new rates into effect this fall as part of the water improvement project.

Council member Mary Ellis told the council that the September meeting will be her last, because she is moving out of town. The council seats held by Mary Ellis and Pat Picard, and the mayor position held by Barber, are all up for re-election in November. The council will post a "Notice of Election" in public places in Ukiah. Candidates for council must be registered voters who have lived in the city for at least one year. Letters of intent are due to the city by 5 p.m. Aug. 20.

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