Oroville gives OK to ‘false alarm’ ordinance

OROVILLE – After fine tuning over the last two meetings, Oroville set an ordinance setting fees for “false alarm” calls in an effort to try and curtail unnecessary emergency responses.

The ordinance was approved at the council’s Tuesday, March 5 meeting pending a review by city attorney Mick Howe. It sets the charge for emergency response to a false alarm at $100 for the first incidence, $200, for the second, $300 for third and $400 for the fourth in a one year period. Calls out to a false alarm triggered by a company doing maintenance or repair to fire sprinkler or alarm systems where the company did not inform the city, will be an automatic $250 for the first incidence.

“Our intent is not to penalize businesses, but our hope is to educate them if they have alarm issues,” said Rod Noel, Oroville’s fire chief.

The new ordinance will include a Memorandum of Understanding between the city and rural fire departments.

“It’s a recovery, not a penalty, even though the first few fees won’t recover your full costs,” said Chris Branch, director of community development.

“It’s enough to send a message,” said Councilwoman Neysa Roley.

“I agree with Rod, if you do it once you’re probably not going to do it again,” added Branch.

Senior Project

Ronel Kee, a senior at Oroville High School, approached the council for permission to refurbish the lettering on the Oroville Welcome Gates.

“I’d like to redo the Oroville Welcome Sign, right now it is kind of run down,” he said. “I’d like to redo the lettering and any funds that are available would be appreciated, but I will be going to raise funds myself.”

Councilman Walt Hart III told Kee that he and Ken Mathews had been maintaining the Welcome Gates for the past 10 years and that they have all the letters and paint to help him with his project and to keep the costs down.

Oroville Mayor Chuck Spieth said he would donate $50 to the project and Councilman Tony Koepke added another $20.

“And Ronel will do a good job,” added Councilman Ed Naillon, a teacher at OHS.

The senior student plans to finish his project by the end of March or early April.

Ambulance Engine

Oroville Ambulance Coordinator Debra Donoghue gave an update on efforts to replace a motor in ambulance unit 264. She said that Hart and Koepke, members of the Ambulance Committee, had given approval for Thompson Bees to install a rebuilt engine from NAPA. The engine and installation will run about $5000 total.

“After discussing it with Rod, if we decide to get rid of an ambulance when the new one is purchased, then we will get rid of it. That’s why we are just going for a rebuilt. Unit 263 is newer and doesn’t have the electrical problems, Donoghue said, indicating she’d like to keep Unit 264 giving the district three ambulances.

Industrial Park Lease

Veranda Beach Partnership, which took a five-year lease on the city’s industrial park building, then renewed for one year, is asked for approval of a new five-year lease at the same terms as their original lease.

Koepke made a motion to approve the lease renewal and it was seconded by Councilman Jon Neal and approved.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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