Oroville approves smaller budget for 2015

Fewer special projects planned

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council approved a $7,832,893 budget, over one million dollars less than the current year, at their Tuesday, Dec. 2 council meeting.

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City Clerk JoAnn Denney

“The budget last year was $8,835,900, so it is actually down because we don’t have all the special projects this year,” said City Clerk JoAnn Denney.

Denney was referring to the Central and Cherry street and water improvement project that was completed this summer, the North End Water System reservoir and the Dorothy Scott International Airport runway improvement, all completed this year.

The 2015 budget total current expense fund expenses are $1,910,000, including $561,000 in Law Enforcement; $405,700 in Airport, $178,200 in General Government/Finance/Administration. $178,000 in Ambulance Services and $145,300 in Planning and Community Development. By far the biggest part of the budget is $2,437,000 in the Water – Sewer Fund, with other major funds and reserves being the Garbage Fund, $440,000; Park Fund, $409,000, Water Improvement Reserve, $371,000; Street Fund, $345,000; Eastlake Water Improvement Reserve, $282,600, Eastlake Sewer Improvement Reserve; 241,200; Emergency Aid Reserve; 188,800; Sewer Construction Reserve, $188,000; North End Capital Reserve, $168,000; Tourist Promotion Fund, $167,000; Garbage Truck Reserve; $150,000; Capital Improvement Reserve, $144,000 and Emergency Aid Reserve; 121,300.

“The budget does contain some funds for the airport because we are looking at the potential for relocating the runway sometime in the future, so we are starting that process now,” said Denney.

While the council approved the budget at their meeting, it will not be adopted until their next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 16.

The meeting, the second to last of 2014, was one of the shortest this year. In addition to the budget, the council revisited several issues, mostly to do with closing out the reservoir and airport projects, however, they also had an update on the city’s efforts to obtain the old U.S. Border Patrol Station at 1105 Main Street. The building has become surplus since the station was moved closer to the border, north of town.

Burglaries

Police Chief Todd Hill

Police Chief Todd Hill

Police Chief Todd Hill reported that his department is investigating several burglaries of businesses in town.

“We are tracking down the leads we receive and I will be disseminating a list of things businesses can dow to avoid being burglarized,” said Hill. “I spoke with the newspaper about the importance of reporting suspicious activity in preventing crime.”

Mayor Chuck Spieth, himself a former Oroville Police Chief, added, “Phone calls from the citizens are so important… that’s how cases are solved.”

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Museum

Arnie Marchand, representing the Borderlands Historical Society, reported on the activities underway at the Depot Museum. He said that the kitchen was gone and that they were replacing the floor and painting. The group will also be moving one of the walls in the hallway to make it wider and allow for more displays.

“We are going to repaint the walls in the railroad room and are going to redo it with some of the items donated to the museum recently,” said Marchand, adding, “We are also getting four new displays from four area native schools, including Paschal-Sherman, for the exhibit on Okanagan Indians.

Marchand said several schools have contacted the society about field trips to see the display. While the museum reopens to the public in May, the student field trips will actually begin at the end of March, according to Marchand.

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 has a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.