PRAIRIE CITY - Not a group to be daunted by the constraints of a meager budget, members of the City Council got together Aug. 25 and took it upon themselves to cover up holes in the City Hall building and replace the siding on the roof edges.
Mayor Lance Delgado, and council members Roger McKinley, Anna Bass, Mike Springer and Karen Jacobs applied elbow grease to get the building covered to protect it from rain. Bob Titus and Georgia Patterson from public works and Joe Hitz from Sisul Engineering were also in on the work party.
City Recorder Diane Clingman, dressed in an apron decorated with fish, was busy cooking brownies, beans with sausages and Swedish meatballs and more for the crew as they worked.
"We have to do creative budgeting to get things done around here," Clingman said.
Bass agreed, then said, "Because like other cities, there are higher expenses and lower revenues."
The coverup on the front of the building was almost finished when the lift developed a short. Members went back the next day to finish what they'd started.
Earlier this year, a restroom was built across the street from the City Hall building, brought in under budget due, in part, to former Mayor Leonard Wolf (2001-2002). The city was spared the expense of wiring because he volunteered his electrician services.--
The original estimates for the work were around $36,000 to $40,000, but ordering a custom building from Countryside Homes/Martins General Construction in La Grande for $6,950 brought down costs.-
The concrete and plumbing were contracted out. City crews and volunteers did most everything else.-
Other volunteers: Delgado, Jim Hamsher (council), Wolf and Clingman (painting); Stan Horrell and Larry Wright (the rock wall); and Cole Winegar, Trevor Hamsher, Jim Ratzell and Derral Dew.-
Other improvements to the park include an underground sprinkler system for more efficient irrigation of the grass (installed and working) and a proposed fountain to be-constructed at the north end of the flower beds.