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Agenda & Minutes

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Mayor & Council (View All)

City Council Study Session Agenda & Minutes

Thursday, August 25, 2016

12:00 PM
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon
  1. Water Commission Update on Lead Issues
  2. Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
12:00 PM
City Hall, Medford Room
411 West 8th Street, Medford, Oregon

The Medford City Council Study Session was called to order at 12:00 p.m. in the Medford Room of the Medford City Hall on the above date with the following members and staff present:
Mayor Gary Wheeler; Councilmembers Clay Bearnson, Daniel Bunn, Tim Jackle, Eli Matthews, Kevin Stine
City Manager Pro Tem Alison Chan; Deputy City Manager Bill Hoke, City Attorney Lori Cooper; Deputy City Recorder Winnie Shepard; Water Commission Manager Larry Rains; Planning Director Jim Huber, DLCD Natural Hazards Planner Tricia Sears; Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Masterman
Councilmembers Corcoran, Gordon and Zarosinski were absent.
Water Commission Update on Lead Issues
Water Commission Manager Larry Rains spoke regarding the status of lead issues in Medford’s water. 
  • In May, two lead pigtails were found.A “pigtail” is a service pipe used back in the early 1900’s as a flex coupling
  • The Commission doesn’t have records regarding pigtail locations in Medford; but began looking at every house along the waterlines on the 1946 map, approximately 5,000 meters.Staff reviewed by digging to visually determine if the pipe has a pigtail
  • Some locations require a “pothole” to gain access to visually inspect the joint
  • So far, 4,760 locations were walked and examined, resulting in 264 possible pothole locations. To date, the Commission has dug 47 of these locations, found 13 lead pigtails, of which 11 have been removed and the other two will be removed shortly
  • The goal is to complete inspections by the end of 2016 and to find and eliminate all lead pigtails
  • Testing is conducted at the tap after the water has sat for 6 hours; it is not required to test at the pigtail
    • For the first test, the pigtail was disturbed and washed.This caused the lead level to test higher than normal
  • It costs approximately $15 to examine each meter; replacement fees are paid from the general maintenance fees.Each pothole costs $1,000.If a pigtail is found, it is another $5,000 to remove
  • The QBS corrosion study will cost an estimated $250,000
Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan
Planning Director Jim Huber provided the background of the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan and noted it will come back before Council for approval.  Emergency Management Coordinator Larry Masterman noted the 2017 version of this plan will be the City’s “go to resource” for natural hazards.  It analyzes the natural hazards in our area and how to handle each of them.   
  • Required by FEMA to obtain grants for earthquakes, response & recovery funds
  • Medford’s first plan was created in 2004, was updated in 2010 and sunset last year
  • City began working with the DLCD on the new plan about two years ago
  • This process is very transparent and is geared to receive public involvement
  • Medford, the surrounding cities and the County all have their own plans
Tricia Sears, National Hazards Planner with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, noted the following:
  • Delays in beginning between FEMA and the Oregon Legislature
  • The goal is to have this completed by June 2017
  • She is responsible for managing the project and writing the plan
  • Local jurisdictions should incorporate this plan into their core policies together with land use planning and emergency management
  • A website has been created for public to submit comments
  • A draft plan is expected in early October, containing the community profile and the risk assessment
  • An open house is planned for January of 2017
  • Ms. Sears will seek an approval letter from FEMA in May
  • The Plan keeps community flood insurance costs lower and assists in obtaining FEMA grants
City Manager Pro Tem Alison Chan explained this plan should help the City receive federal help in the event of an emergency. 

The meeting adjourned at 12:32 p.m.
Winnie Shepard
Deputy City Recorder


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