Hood River Rotary Ski Night at Mt. Hood Meadows is this coming Monday. The annual event raises money for the club’s local student scholarships. There will also be entertainment and activities for non-skiers. The Rotary Ski Night will be from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday. Tickets are $20 online at skihood.com or $25 on the day of the event.
The Port of Hood River is getting ready to do a public survey on their strategic business plan through 2026. Port Commissioners at their meeting this week review the survey and made suggestions for revisions that will be incorporated into the final product. Port Executive Director Michael McElwee says they are aiming to get it out to the public within a couple of weeks through a number of channels, including their upcoming newsletter and online. The Port plans to wrap up development of the strategic plan in June.
North Wasco County School District 21 has submitted a long-range facilities plan to the Oregon Department of Education in the aftermath of a final community meeting on the subject Tuesday evening. The 15-year plan will make the district eligible for state matching funds when the district is able to move forward with school replacements, with The Dalles High School at the top of the priority list. D-21 Superintendent Candy Armstrong says the next step for the district board is to go further in the planning process with a group to take the plan and go deeper with it. At the same time, Armstrong will be sharing the plan with other taxing entities in The Dalles. The plan puts the price tag on replacing The Dalles High School at just under $100 million, Colonel Wright Elementary at $23.87 million, and Chenowith Elementary at $39.45 million.
Public comments are now being sought on the draft plan for infrastructure modernization for the East Fork Irrigation District. The Natural Resources Conservation Service has released its draft watershed plan-environmental assessment for the project. Margi Hoffman of Farmers Conservation Alliance, which is one of the partners on the project, says the goal is to make the East Fork irrigation system more efficient by converting open-ditch irrigation canals into underground, closed-pipe systems. The draft plan is available for review at oregonwatershedplans.org. A public meeting is planned for January 29 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Pine Grove Grange on 2835 Van Horn Drive in Hood River.
The Dalles 66, Goldendale 48
Hood River Valley at Banks, ppd. to Wednesday
South Wasco at Horizon Christian, ppd. to Wednesday
Riverside at Lyle-Wishram, ccld.
The Dalles 32, Goldendale 31
Stevenson 75, Castle Rock 30
Trout Lake 53, Columbia Adventist 44
LaCenter at Columbia, ppd. to Monday
Riverside at Lyle-Wishram, ccld.
Hood River County Commissioners did not formally reach a consensus on a property tax rate for a five-year public safety levy to be placed on the May ballot during a worksession on Monday, but discussions indicated three of the five commissioners leaning toward a rate of 83 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. Chair Mike Oates along with Les Perkins and Karen Joplin expressed their lean toward 83 cents, which Sheriff Matt English outlined would allow them to increase their roster of patrol deputies to 14 and give the department a better chance of reaching 24-hour coverage. Rich McBride and Bob Benton were still leaning to a 78-cent rate, with McBride expressing his concern that if the rate is too high for taxpayers, they will be facing cutting one-point-five million dollars from the County’s 2020-21 budget. Administrator Jeff Hecksel says staff will bring two drafts of the measure to their January 21 meeting to be voted on, one for each rate. The 78-cent would eventually provide for 13 patrol deputies, not quite enough for 24-hour coverage.
The Dalles has reached the final list of five communities being considered to be featured by the “Small Business Revolution” program on Internet streaming services. Deluxe Corporation, a small business financial services company that is behind the program, made the announcement this morning. The other four towns to make the final round are Benicia, California, Fredonia, New York, Livingston, Montana. and Spearfish, South Dakota. Online voting is now underway and will continue through next Tuesday. Those wishing to vote can go to lovethedalles.com to link to the ballot website. People can register one vote per unique email per device per day. The “Small Business Revolution” program and Deluxe Corporation will invest $500,000 to improve six small businesses over eight episodes during the fifth season of the program, which is distributed on Amazon Prime and Hulu.
The Dalles City Council decided to send proposed changes to the municipal charter to voters in May. Most significant of the changes would be to increase the Mayor’s term from two years to four, and eliminate zones for Council positions and make them all at-large. Councilor Rod Runyon said the charter committee that worked on the revisions felt the mayoral term needed to be extended because of how the budget process works, noting by the time a mayor gets to a second budget cycle, they are already at the end of the term. Mayor Rich Mays emphasized he did not take part in the committee deliberations on the charter, but added he concurred with that view. After a suggestion for the public for term limits, Runyon noted they had minor discussions about that topic, but did not include it in the revisions. The charter changes will be on the May 19 ballot.
The Hood River County Commission is holding a worksession this afternoon as they try to reach consensus on a plan for seeking a public safety levy on the May ballot. The 3:30 worksession in the County Administration Building is intended to develop a final rate and other details to allow County Administrator Jeff Hecksel to bring back a draft to vote on at the panel’s January 21 meeting. The Commission has until later in February to file a measure for the ballot, but Hecksel said the board’s February session is just one day before that deadline, a major reason for wanting to finish this month.
The Port of The Dalles and a group of supporters are working on a long-discussed plan for a dog park. The park is proposed for a spit of land between the cruise dock and the Marina along the Riverfront Trail. Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas says the piece of land is about five acres in size, and a group of supporters attended a recent Port meeting. Klaas says dog park supporters will come back to the Port board with a plan next month.