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Deal struck – Silverton hills annexation approved

By James Day

A 1.7-acre parcel in the hills off of Edison Heights Road will become part of Silverton.

The Silverton City Council voted at its Sept. 12 meeting to accept an annexation request from the property owners, Al and Sheila Skomial, who sought the annexation because of a failing well, which does not deliver the required water flow and also has higher than healthy levels of bacteria.

A similar request was rejected by councilors at the Aug. 5 meeting. At that time councilors and members of the public expressed concerns about the application because the parcel is outside the urban growth boundary. Also, the annexation and the city water hookups they are seeking would cost the Skomials more than $20,000. That bill would have been $30,000 had the property owners annexed at the time they built their house because of additional system development charges.

The Skomials offered to make up the difference and councilors unanimously voted to approve the annexation.

Mayor Kyle Palmer said that he was troubled by the SDCs issue, noting that although he didn’t think it was intentional he also thought that it was unfair that the Skomials might get the benefits of city services that others had paid more for.

Councilor Jim Sears agreed while also adding that city SDC codes needed to be revised to make them clearer.

Infrastructure Update: Councilors voted to spend approximately $147,000 on designs for infrastructure projects on the north side of town. The city is planning work to make the Whittier-Mill intersection safer and will add sidewalk and utility improvements along Second Street between Whittier and Lincoln.

Firwood Design Group of Troutdale will get the contract, and city officials said there will be cost savings by having the same firm do the initial design work for both projects.

Also, the city recently sent out to bid its project to construct a new water treatment plant. The city has $9,500,000 in hand via a construction loan from Business Oregon. But with the lowest bid, a $12,220,000 offer from Strider Construction, the council, at the request of City Manager Ron Chandler, voted as part of its consent agenda to reject all of the bids.

Chandler said that the city just does not have the money to make up the difference between the Business Oregon funds and current bids. The city will look for additional funding in the 2022-23 fiscal year in hopes of getting the project going.

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