3/16/23, 4:25 PM
HOT TOPIC-Sundown Canyon Road
Tuesday’s (3/14/23), meeting was called to Order by SRD Chairperson Sue Haley at 10:00 AM.
After Flag Salute, Roll Call was held, all Commissioners present-Ann House, Dana Pierce along with CRR Road Supervisor Jordan Jones.
Ranch President Kari Vickery and Ranch Water Company GM Frank Day in attendance.
Haley followed the AGENDA that included several (hot) topics. This report’s focus is regarding Sundown Canyon Road.
SUNDOWN CANYON ROAD:
Since the fall of 2021, Sundown Canyon Road and the controversy surrounding forcing the Water Company to move the vault has been a hot topic.
At the Ranch Board of Directors (BOD) November 15, 2021, Meeting, former Ranch Director/ Treasure Jerry Cooper stated: “By reading the TEXT-they’re (Ranch Water Company) fighting back.”
Former Ranch President Bill Burt explained: “The Water Company doesn’t want to move the vault.”
Cooper asked: “Are we going to look into legal action?” Burt answered: “It could come to that I suppose.” Burt reminded Cooper that the Ranch doesn’t have “any skin in the game.” Cooper retorted: “We do, well, the people down at the bottom (Former Director Mark Schneider) there deserve our attention…”
Burt replied: “Absolutely” and explained “PRESSURE CAN BE APPLIED HERE AND THERE.”
As previously reported we asked Haley to clarify SRD’s role vs the HOA’s role regarding the Sundown Canyon Road project/proposal. According to Haley,
“Jordan Jones started rebuilding the road and was the first to ask Frank Day to move the vault and then Frank refused-that’s how the SRD became involved.”
Haley believes the Ranch requested their help,
“Because we’re the road authority and we can ask the water Company to move the vault. The Ranch CAN’T ask or MAKE the Water Company move the vault so that’s why the SRD got involved.
We’re the ultimate authority, but we work together with the Road Department.”
Haley: “Jordan or Judy (Ranch Manager Judy Lapora) come to us if they think we need to be involved. Mainly the SRD takes care of the paved roads and Jordan takes care of the gravel roads.”
At the SRD’s November 2022 Meeting, Haley stated the following about the Sundown Canyon Project: “Tabled until Spring.”
The December 2022 SRD Meeting Minutes fail to mention any further discussion, specifically about the Sundown Canyon Road Project.
On February 1, 2023, Jefferson County Public Works Director, Matt Powlison reported to the Jefferson County Board of Commissioners two SDC (System Development Charge) funding requests submitted to him via SRD Chair Sue Haley.
The first request dealt with the installation of 28 asphalt aprons on some of the Ranch roads.
Powlison: “I’m not sure that altogether-meets the requirements, but I think I would, probably justify it as a project, because increased capacity, it could be warranted as safety, so they’re asking for $191,000 to do the project.”
Haley’s second SDC funding request was about seeking $469,000 to move the Water Vault on Sundown Canyon Road.
Powlison: “She (Haley) contacted me last month about a utility-water vault on Sundown Canyon Road that is in the roadway itself and the SRD wants to widen that road for safety…”
“It has an estimate of $469,000 and they’re going to split it three (3) ways- with the SRD, with the Homeowners Association and the Water Utility-Water Department. It’s a three WAY SPLIT.”
Returning to the December 2022 SRD Meeting and as mentioned above, Haley did not discuss anything related to Sundown Canyon Road.
The Minutes did reflect the following: “SDC FUNDS PROJECT-Chair Haley completed the bid documents for the proposed improvements and submitted the plan to Matt Powlison at Jefferson Public Works for review and comment.
Chair Haley confirmed that the SDC funds available are approximately $300,000 but some of the funds are to be put toward other safety improvements on the Ranch.”
The SRD’s January 11, 2023, Meeting Agenda reflected only the SRD’s Apron Project and at their meeting they only discussed the bid package related to the Aprons.
Nothing mentioned about seeking SDC funds for the Sundown Canyon Road Project.
Interestingly, one day later, on January 12, 2023, Haley emails Powlison the following:
“Hi Matt: Per our phone conversation, please see attached Engineering Study completed by the Water Company. We would try to purse cost sharing between the HOA, SRD and the Water Company. SDC funds required would be one third of the total estimated cost, or approximately $156,000 in today’s dollars. After speaking with the HOA and my board, I will get back to you. Have a great day!”
At the SRD’s February 8, 2023, Meeting, Haley provided a very brief update regarding the acquisition of SDC funds for the Apron Project. She stated:
“We’re trying to seek funding for SDC funds. Matt Powlison presented that at the last Commissioners meeting (Feb. 1) at the County.”
Haley did not report that she had made two separate SDC funding requests for Powlison’s presentation.
Again, Project # 1, dealt with the Apron Project and Project # 2 involved seeking funds to move the Water Vault on Sundown Canyon Road.
The Public Comments portion of the meeting turned lively with Water Company GM, Frank Day, questioning Haley about using SDC funds to move the Water Vault. She replied:
“There’s a hundred grand left of SDC funds and we were going to see if we could get that in addition to the $191,000 that we’re seeking out of SDC funds to do the Apron Project…”
The discussion continued and also included comments/questions from residents Dale Wiley and Michelle Hussey.
Haley was asked how many homes are on Sundown Canyon Road and she replied:
“I sent letters to 30 people that live down there.”
“There’s 22 actual buildings.”
Haley added: “There were 30 property owners because Judy (Manger Judy Lapora) gave me the LIST and I sent the letters to 30 property owners.”
On February 15, 2023, RM submitted an Oregon Public Records Request to the SRD.
Our Records Request: “Pursuant to the Oregon Public Records Law, we respectfully request to Inspect and/or Copy the following records: Any and All records-communications and interactions between the CRR/SRD and CRR Homeowners Association (HOA) related to Sundown Canyon Road. Specifically, Records, Documents and Information, in any format, related to Sundown Canyon Road shared or conveyed among the SRD, CRR Manager Judy Lapora , CRR Directors, Supervisors or Employees. Please include the “LIST”of Sundown Canyon Homeowners that Manager Lapora provided the SRD along with a copy of the SRD Letter sent to the “30 People” on Sundown Canyon Road. Thank you for your attention to this matter.”
COPIES OF REQUESTED DOCUMENTS
Frank Day told Haley that the rebuilding of Sundown Canyon Road would require meeting County Codes and Haley replied:
“It doesn’t have to meet any County Codes.”
Day retorted: “Sue, the road has to meet County Codes and she repeated:
“No it doesn’t and I’m not going to argue with you.” Day’s response:
“Sue, you’re not God-you do not have full control over the roads on the Ranch.”
Commissioner Ann House weighed in and confirmed Haley’s second project request-SDC funds for the removal of the water vault was never discussed by the SRD Commissioners at any time or at any meeting.
Intriguingly, Haley admitted not talking with her colleagues on the SRD Commission, but did admit talking with the HOA. She stated:
“I just sat in Judy’s office, with a couple of people, Jordan and Kari Vickery-just happened to be there and said that this is what I’m proposing and I want to see if we can get the County and the HOA on board with it.”
Back to Tuesday’s meeting. Haley confirmed “setting aside” the Sundown Canyon Project. She added:
“However, Matt Powlison suggested to me that through the ORS, there could be another way to do the work that needs to be done to the waterline on Sundown Canyon through a loan process…”
Haley asked: “Does anybody else have a suggestion for how we can improve safety on Sundown Canyon?”
Resident Michelle Parcel suggested the installation of guardrails around the water vault and Haley responded:
“That’s something we can look at, yes. We would like to get the vault moved, that’s our goal…”
Dale Wiley suggested-encouraged the SRD retain a professional traffic engineer to look at the road design as it relates to safety and improvement issues connected to the water vault.
Haley stated: “Scott Montgomery is a professional engineer and he has looked at it.”
Wiley: “Has he rendered a decision?” Haley: “He feels the vault should be relocated.”
Frank Day asked: “So he never proposed any other option?”
Wiley requested a “formal document” from Haley’s engineer and she replied
“I can get one.”
Michelle Hussey talked about civil engineering qualifications and informed Haley that she was sitting next to someone-her husband, with a degree in highway design.
According to Haley, other options have been discussed, but reaffirmed the vault needs moved.
She added Matt Powlison also believes the vault needs relocated.
The discussion continued until Haley finally asked:
“CAN WE MOVE ON NOW-PLEASE?”
RANCH MATTERS STAFF
JOHN STEVENS & DAVE STANGLAND