By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski
HERMISTON National Guard Lt. Col. and Umatilla Circuit Court Judge Dan Hill presented to the Hermiston City Council Monday night an American flag which had flown at the base in which he was stationed in Afghanistan.
The flag was one of several Hill had flown over Kabul. Hill returned from Afghanistan after a tour of duty as a judge advocate general just in time for Christmas last year.
In other council news, the council heard from Karen Kendall from GEODC and David Vanderlip of Oregon Rural Housing Services regarding a $400,000 community development block grant her department is requesting on behalf of the city. The expected date to hear about the grant will be sometime this summer.
If granted, the grant would help low-income home owners with rehabilitation of their homes. So far, about 50 people have returned forms to reserve a spot on the list if the grant is given to the city. There are income limits that must be met in order to be considered for the grants. Once a home is sold, the grant money is paid back to the city and placed in the city's revolving loan fund.
? A resolution was passed exempting competitive bids from the E. Elm Avenue and N.E. Fourth Street storm drain improvement project. A permanent solution to the storm drain problem on Elm precipitated the emergency.
? An ordinance was passed regarding the release and use of criminal history information on city employees, volunteers, tow operators and solicitor and liquor license requests.
? The council agreed to the lease between Umatilla County and the city for the land where the skateboard park and horseshoe pits are located on First Place. The lease is for $1 and will expire on Dec. 31, 2007.
Karen Hutchinson-Talaski can be reached at email@example.com.