Town Council

2018 budget adopted by council


December 14, 2017

In its final meeting of 2017 and also the final meeting for outgoing mayor Lois Hubbard, the Odessa Town Council adopted its budget for 2018 at Monday night’s regularly scheduled meeting, which was also its final meeting of 2017. The budget total comes to just over $4 million. Two million of that total is earmarked for street repairs and involves mostly grant funds that are being provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Transportation Improvement Board, the Community Development Block Grants program and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For other budget figures, see the public notices section in the classifieds on page 5.

Steven Nelson of Century West Engineering in Spokane also was in Odessa for the second time that day and attended the council meeting. His first visit involved a morning meeting with representatives of the organizations mentioned above (FEMA, TIB, CDBG and USDA) regarding plans to repair several streets and replace aging water lines beneath those streets. He again urged the council to show good faith to those entities by taking out a $400,000 loan with a 40-year payback period at today’s low interest rates.

He also presented the council, mayor and clerk’s office with a gift basket for Christmas from CenturyWest Engineering.

The council approved three ordinances:

688, dealing with flood hazard protection and amending section 15.20 of the Odessa Municipal Code to reflect new FEMA requirements.

689, a budget amendment totaling just over $98,000.

691, the town budget for 2018.

Council members appeared surprised at the budget amendment amount, questioning why it was so much higher than the figures discussed at their most recent budget workshop. Town clerk Gail Kiesz explained that many figures discussed at the workshop were not final figures and involved only guesswork at that time.

With their questions answered, council members approved the amendment.

Council members also approved a maintenance rate of $10/month for residences that have their water service turned off for part of the year. Also approved were two resolutions concerning rates for water and sewer services. The base water rates for all Odessa users are considered by government funding agencies to be too low compared to other municipalities. Therefore, the council approved an increase in the water rate and at the same time lowered the sewer rate in order to mitigate some of the water increase. The result will be an overall increase in water/sewer/garbage bills by about $4 per month.


Police chief Tom Clark reported a case of shoplifting at the grocery store that involved a minor. The store has agreed to work with the child’s family on restitution, he said.

Public Works

Public works director Rod Webster reported that sewer pits had been filled with leftover sawdust from September’s Deutschesfest in order to prevent freezing of valves and piping in them. His crew also delivered 400 sacks of solid waste to the Fish Trap recycling facility. Leaves and other debris were cleaned out of storm drains and a new pipe was installed in one drain to replace a cracked pipe. The crew is ready to tackle snow whenever it might arrive, he said.

Outgoing council member Terry Goetz thanked fellow council members and the community for his time on the council, expressing gratitude for all he learned while in office.

Mayor Hubbard also thanked the council and community for their support during her eight years as a council member and her two years as mayor. On the advice of her doctors she is stepping down to concentrate on her business offices and her health.

Bill Knerr has been appointed by the council to fill the position being vacated by Terry Goetz. He has been attending meetings regularly to familiarize himself with the issues before the council.

In January, Bill Crossley will take office as the newly elected mayor. He will resign his position on the council prior to assuming office. Anyone interested in serving on the council is asked to submit a letter of interest to the council. The position will be filled by appointment until the next election takes place.


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