Oroville Council discusses OHS Senior Projects

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council discussed whether there needs to be a more structured approach to accepting senior projects.

The city has been besieged with senior projects, some needing funding and some requiring ongoing maintenance long after the senior has graduated from Oroville High School.

“We need to be consistent in what types of projects we accept,” said Mayor Chuck Spieth. “Clay (Police Chief Warnstaff) had an idea that we establish a list with items we are looking to be done.”

Councilman Ed Naillon, a teacher at Oroville High School expressed concern the city might be exposed to more liability if such a list was established because people might think the city was “recruiting” students to do the work.

“I think we need a copy of what the school’s criteria is before we make any kind of list,” said Councilman Walt Hart.

Mayor Spieth added, “The follow-on maintenances is where Rod (Noel, Public Works Superintendent) said he was concerned.”

By way of example Kathy Jones, the city clerk, pointed to the sign and bench at Veteran’s Memorial Park that was looking shabby.

“It needs to be moved to where the water and sun don’t hit it… the plexiglass is damaged and needs to be replaced,” said Jones, who suggested students wanting to come to the city with a project fill out a form.

As far as whether a project is funded, the mayor and council seemed to agree that funding the recent senior project to install permanent irrigation where flowers were planted along the sidewalk next to Highway 97 on the south end of town was money well spent.

“The problem is we can’t fund everyone’s project, especially if it is not something we feel we currently have a need for,” said Spieth.

“Some of the students just don’t have funds and get half way through and the money runs out. Other students come from wealthier homes and don’t have to worry as much about funding,” said Councilman Naillon. “I think it would be a good first start to communicate with George Thornton, the advisor for the students on senior projects.”

In other business the council approved a request to allow for the replacement of a sign near the Oroville Depot for the River Oaks RV Park. The sign will be approximately a foot and a half wider and a foot taller, according to Jones.

“Supt. Noel had a couple of concerns, he doesn’t want the landscaped area to be in wood because that too easily breaks down. He would prefer it be in something like block,” said Jones, who added that when the sign was first approved the RV Park’s owners had agreed to donate $100 annually to the Depot Museum.

The city clerk said that lease had long expired and after calling the owners they agreed to write a check for $1400 to make up for past years where the donation had not been made. The plans for the new sign have been forwarded to Chris Johnson the permit administrator. The council would also like the RV park owner to sign a hold harmless agreement.

“I have no problems with it as long as it meets our standards,” said Councilman Jon Neal.

There was also a request that the sign owner consider using a solar system to light it, rather than getting power from elsewhere.

“Rod thinks solar would be the best solution,” said Jones.

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.

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