After the initial approval of $41,386 paid out to vendors, Mayor Julie Struck advised the council of an e-mail that she had received from South Bend resident Chris Thompson.
Thompson was responding to a recent city council meeting where the discussion was around water and sewer rates and the average wage earner in the city. His contention was that the city should look at how they prioritize spending and possibly cut back on some city departments, like the South Bend Police Department.
Mayor Struck penned her response, which was not read in its entirety, but paraphrased for the Council (which did receive full text copies) and attending members of the public. The key point was that funds for city water and sewer are "proprietary" funds and cannot be transferred for other uses. And even with cutting back the city police department, any savings could not be used to support city water and/or sewer.
"The funds have to be self-sustaining," commented Mayor Struck.
Which means that the revenue from water and sewer fees supports the water and sewer systems and no other funds can be brought against that account.
(The full text of Mayor Struck's response is on Page 2 of this issue of the Willapa Harbor Herald.)
The Public Hearing on the Planning Only Grant Close Out was opened and closed after two minutes and little interaction from the public. A followup report will be coming from the city as soon as it has gone through all final stage processes.
Ordinance #1495, Amending and Updating of the Comprehensive Plan, was approved to go into its second reading.
Mayor Struck next went over a memorandum from the engineering firm of Gray and Osborne, Inc. covering city options on increased water requirements for industry in South Bend.
With Jessie's Ilwaco Fish Company looking to start operations in South Bend before the end of summer, they made the city aware of their increased need for a daily water supply. Mayor Struck went over the numbers with the council looking at five scenarios and the impact to the city for each.
The memo noted that the current South Bend water demand at peak was estimated at 53,000 gallons per day, with a reserve of 432,000 gpd for emergencies (the Raymond/South Bend Intertie).
The request by the fish company was originally estimated to be in the range of 650,000 gpd. It was later clarified that that was a slight overestimate and a more true average would be in the range of 45,000 to 180,000 depending on the amount of seafood processed.
The intent of the fish company is to have up to six shrimp peeling stations utilizing on average 15,000 gpd per machine on a double shift. This would average 180,000 gpd for the increased operations. Historical records did show that operations in 2014 averaged 45,000 gpd. The request is four times previous usage.
The options identified for the city by Gray and Osborne ranged from no additional increase provided to the Fish Company, which would have no impact to the city water supply to the Full Monty of 180,000 gpd, depleting any capacity for others and cutting into the emergency Inter-tie.
After a short discussion, the council agreed with the mayor in pursuing option 2, which would allow the fish company to draw an additional 60,000 gpd, allowing 38,000 gpd for others and not touching the Inter-tie.
Taking this option also looks into the future of other industry in the city. An anticipated increase for water for the marijuana processors and growers will also be on the horizon as they are yet at maximum capacity of production.
As the meeting moved into Department Head reports, Police Chief Dave Eastham spoke of the recent arrest of a South Bend resident who was being held on four counts of rape, and another case of a teen on teen rape that the police department is working on.
"Currently the one case may prove to be more, but for now he is being held on just the four counts," informed Chief Eastham.
Mayor Struck and Chief Eastham further discussed the recent calls from citizens complaining about the presence of police officers in specific neighborhoods, and how it has started to positively impact nefarious activities.
Mayor Struck spoke on behalf of the city supervisor and the South Bend Fire Department noting completed construction by the city and the latest City Fire Rating recently received.
"This means lower insurance for residents," noted Mayor Struck on the new fire rating.
The next South Bend City Council meeting is scheduled for April 13, 5:30 pm, at South Bend City Hall.