OROVILLE – The City of Oroville adopted a $6,519,580 budget on Tuesday, Dec. 19, the last council meeting of 2011.
The budget provides $1,482,000 in total current expense, with some of the larger budget items in current expense being $540,450 for Law Enforcement, $163,500 in General Governmental Services/Finance/Administration, $145,100 in Ambulance Services, $142,000 in Planning and Community Development, $83,500 for the Airport and $68,000 for Fire Control.
The largest budget item for 2012 is $1,852,000 in the Water-Sewer Fund, followed by the Street Fund, $526,000; Garbage Fund, $380,000; Park Fund, $374,000; Water Improvement Reserve, $338,000; Eastlake Sewer improvement Fund, $220,600 and Eastlake Water Improvement Fund, $208,000.
The city council also heard from Oroville Ambulance Coordinator Debra Donoghue who discussed the upcoming Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) class she will be teaching.
“The students who will be working as EMTs with the Oroville ambulance are being asked to pay half the cost of tuition, as well as books and fees. The city will pay the other half of the tuition,” said Donoghue. “The total for tuition is $700 and includes two extra classes that I am not charging for. Other agencies are charging $1000 for tuition without the extra classes.”
Donoghue said that she wants to narrow the list of candidates for the Oroville ambulance to four, but with the addition of students wanting to work at other agencies it looks like nine students have signed up to attend.
“I’d like to keep to a maximum of 16 and if we get that many there could be a possible lower price for everybody,” Donoghue said.
Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works reported on a connection issue regarding the Eastlake Sewer System. He said a property with new construction was attempting to connect to the sewer line at the “Y” but kept having problems with the line when connected. The city crew attempted to resolve the problem and discovered the original contractor that built the system had not made a connection shown in the plans.
“We dug toward the road corresponding with the original plans from the 2006 contractor and found out that they had not made the connection at the elbow by about six inches. The contractor has given excuses that ‘it’s not our fault,’” said Noel.
The city has submitted its expenses to the county engineer who will be contacting the original contractor, according to the Noel.
“There are about 80 plus connections out there with about only five properties currently connected… hopefully we will not have any other issues. It cost the city about $6000 to resolve this one issue because the connection was in a tough spot, there’s a city main there and an OTID irrigation line there,” Noel said.
In Mayor Chuck Spieth’s absence, Mayor Pro Tem Walt Hart asked for and received the council’s approval for the reappointment of Steve Shimmel and Judy Dunston to the planning commission for three-year terms.
The Oroville Community Library Board sent a letter to the council asking the city to consider including the activity room in the cleaning of the library. City Clerk Kathy Jones said this would only add about $42 a month to the cost to the city of cleaning the library, or about $500 a year.
“I think we should do it, the library uses it and I think we should clean it,” said Councilman Ed Naillon in making a motion to approve the expense.
Councilwoman Neysa Roley agreed and seconded the motion, stating, “It is used for other activities, but they do use it for the library.”
Jones and Noel gave a short update on the health of Ted Williams, who runs the city’s wastewater treatment facility. Williams was transported to Central Washington Hospital where he is being treated for Bronchial Pneumonia. The hospital has induced a coma as part of the treatment, according to Noel who added that the city crew was rotating coverage while Williams was on medical leave.
“On another matter I think we should send a letter to the Tribe from the mayor, council and city thanking them for the use of their ambulance while ours was undergoing repairs,” Noel said.
Donoghue agreed saying that the ambulance crew had given the Colville Confederated Tribe a letter, but an official one from the city would be in order.
The next meeting of the Oroville City Council will be at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2012 at the council chambers at city hall located at 1308 Ironwood St.