By Tom Henderson • Staff Writer • 

Council takes up history, pre-history

Retired McMinnville Police Officer Mike Full has a present for his original colleagues, a replica of a prehistoric mammoth tusk.

Full, founder of the Willamette Valley Pleistocene Project, plans to present the replica to the police department and city council at the council’s next regular meeting, set for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Pleistocene Project explores the late pleistocene and early holocene in the Willamette Valley. The unfunded organization is an alliance of local volunteers, property owners, trained professionals and amateur paleontologists eager to discover, study and preserve prehistoric remains.

More recent history will also be on councilors’ minds Tuesday. They will take their first look at a series of ordinances designed to alter the rules governing downtown design standards and historic preservation.
The amendments would:

* Repeal the existing historic preservation ordinance in favor of making provisions for a historic preservation chapter in the McMinnville Zoning Ordinance. Having to rely on a stand-alone ordinance creates difficulties for planners, property owners and other members of the community, said Associate Planner Chuck Darnell in a memo to councilors.

* Update review criteria for the designation of historic places to reflect both National Register of Historic Places criteria and the requirements the committee used to create its registry.

* Tailor owner consent definitions and processes to reflect new legislation and recent court rulings. Planning Director Heather Richards said this would create a procedure where property owners could request a historic resource be removed from the local inventory.

* Incorporate the federal Department of the Interior Standards and Guidelines for Archeology and Historic Preservation into local review criteria.

* Designate all National Register buildings and sites as protected resources, while excluding accessory structures and non-contributing resources.

* Create a public hearing process for moving or demolishing a National Register building.

* Create a certificate of approval process to replace the existing building permit clearance review stipulations. Currently, only alterations that require a building permit are subject to the historic preservation standards and review process.

In other business, the council will consider:

* A contract to CH2M-Hill Engineers for work on Northwest Hill Road. It would cover construction engineering services in the amount of $242,523.

The contract would be the firm’s third. Earlier agreements dealt with preliminary engineering and design work, for $372,519, and final design work, at $739,800.

The Hill Street project is the largest of the five capital improvements funded out of a transportation bond approved in 2014. It includes  improvements between Northwest Second and Northwest Baker Creek.

* A request from Ossie Bladine, editor and assistant publisher at the News-Register, to waive local noise ordinances for the Walnut City Music Festival. Bladine is an organizer of the annual event, scheduled this year for Sept. 1-2 at 755 N.E. Alpine Ave.

* A hike in the city’s part of Recology’s monthly revenue from garbage service, now 3 percent, to 5 percent.

A contract struck with Western Oregon Waste in 2009 gave the company the right to collect garbage in McMinnville. That contract transferred to Recology when the company assumed garbage service in 2010.

The terms allow the city to increase the franchise fee it charges, at any time.