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Medford council to hear public on storm drain fees

The Medford City Council will hold public hearings tonight about a 17-cent increase in monthly storm drain utility fees and a &

36;23 increase in storm drain system development charges.

The hearings will be held at 7 p.m. in the council chambers on the third floor of City Hall, 411 W. Eighth St. The meeting begins at noon and will be continued to 7 p.m. The evening session is broadcast on cable channel 9.

Monthly storm drain utility fees would increase from &

36;3.42 to &

36;3.59 beginning in March. The fee shows up on the Medford Water Commission billing beneath the &

36;10.73 sewer rate and the &

36;3.71 street fee.

The fee increase would generate &

36;82,000 in revenue used for street sweeping, leaf pickup and maintenance of storm drains, said Cory Crebbin, the city's public works director.

Created in 1983, the storm drain fee had no increases for 15 years, Crebbin said. The City Council in 2000 approved three increases, the final tier showing up on the April billing.

System development charges for storm drains would increase from &

36;463 to &

36;486 per home. System development charges are fees paid by builders for new construction and passed on to home buyers. The increase would generate &

36;10,000 in additional city revenue and would help pay for projects such as purchasing property for settling ponds that filter storm water before it enters Bear Creek, Crebbin said.

During the noon session today, the council is expected to award the contract for City Hall seismic upgrades to R.A. Murphy Construction Inc. of Eagle Point. Reed Murphy had the low bid at &

36;662,800. Other bids were offered by Adroit Construction of Ashland (&

36;810,700), and Hollinger Construction of Longview, Wash. (&

36;770,000).

The engineers' estimate was &

36;652,000, which did not include &

36;82,000 for wrapping the concrete windowsills, a job added to the contract during the bidding process.

The agenda also includes:

Granting Larson's Superstore a permit to reconstruct its elevated walkway that crosses 10th Street between Fir Street and the railroad tracks.

Awarding Carollo Engineers a &

36;207,266 contract to design a pilot project to reuse wastewater at the sewage treatment plant.

Renewing an agreement with the Oregon Department of Transportation to share street maintenance duties such as patching, shouldering, ditching, sweeping, drainage and signs.

Granting Community Works &

36;72,100 to operate Dunn House, Rape Crisis, Family Focus Parent Education, Family Focus Personal Safety Program, HelpLine and Youth and Family Counseling Services.

Granting Access &

36;62,410 to operate Senior/Disabled Outreach, Food Share and Food Rescue.