On behalf of the Mosier City Council, City Manager Jayme, and I send a “Happy New Year” message to all our citizens, and residents of the Mosier valley.
First, we want to extend our sincere and deep gratitude and appreciation to outgoing Mayor Arlene Burns and Councilor Peny Wallace for their years of dedicated and earnest service to the community. Arlene’s vision, passion, and indomitable drive for all things of benefit to Mosier over the past 10 years are truly legendary. Peny has brought her wisdom, good cheer, and friendly manner to Council business for some two decades. We owe them many thanks for their remarkable contributions to Mosier!
We also welcome newly elected Councilors Bill Grater and Monte Spencer. Bill, who retired with 53 years as an aircraft mechanic for United Airlines has been a regular attendee at Council meetings. Monte is a consultant in Government and Public Services, with a focus on strategy and analytics. During his career he has held positions in both private and public sectors.
As most of you know, the City of Mosier has numerous critical infrastructure and community projects and initiatives underway. Schedule status of the projects including levels of secured or pending funding are regularly presented by staff at Council meetings. In February of each year, Council and staff will initiate our goal-setting session, which will result in an annual workplan based on priorities and strategies set by council and executed by staff. This work plan will involve community outreach, and engagement resulting in our 2023-2024 budget development process, carried out by a citizen supported Budget Committee beginning in March 2023.
The keystone project is our collaborative effort with Mosier Fire District to construct the Mosier Community Center. It features a fire station, Fire and City office space, community meeting room and kitchen, as well as archival space for historical Mosier exhibits. Once completed, the project will provide tremendous benefit not only to Mosier, but also the surrounding area for generations to come. The City and Mosier Fire are about 3/4 of the way complete in fundraising. A recent huge lift came with a federal appropriation ($975k) toward the project thanks to the efforts of Senators Merkley and Wyden. Thank you, Senators!
We are also in mid phase of construction of water system improvements; the final step of this critical infrastructure project is to drill the backup well. The eastside telemetry, and pumpstation were completed in 2022. Design is complete for Rock Creek Park planting restoration work, entrance, and parking improvements. Design is nearly complete for a new public restroom at the bicycle HUB on Highway 30. Finally, major improvements to the wastewater treatment system are in design, and we have a design completed for an EV charging station.
In other business, the Council will be holding public hearings on a new ordinance to implement a Short-Term Rental Regulation policy. A citizen committee has worked diligently over the last 18 months to determine guiding principles, community values, policy objectives, and key elements of a proposed policy. The Council has also adopted a Transient Lodging Tax policy in 2018, which is now in process of being collected through our partnership with the State of Oregon Department of Revenue. Staff are also working with Wasco County on a Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan. Staff continue routine business such as: Maintenance and operations of community infrastructure.
In addition to all the actions above, the City will continue to be in support of collaborative efforts with the Mosier Community School, Mosier Fire and Main Street Mosier wherever and whenever there are opportunities, initiatives of mutual interest or overlapping jurisdiction.
A special thanks goes to citizen John Worsley for his fabulous work on updating the City’s website based on community request logs and needs: Cityofmosier.com, check it out. And don’t hesitate to attend a Council meeting now and then and/or reach out to Jayme on any questions or input you may have. We look forward to returning to an “in person” platform in February, while still accommodating online participation.
In closing, I quote a friend from Hood River, who visits Mosier to hike, bike, use Rock Creek Park, enjoy our small businesses, farms, and wineries etc. He said recently: “Mosier is the little community that is used well”. That speaks to how thoughtful and intentional the placemaking of Mosier is and has been historically. It is important that we continue to support Mosier with sustainable and equitable policies and projects.
Witt Anderson, Mayor
Jayme Bennett, City Manager