Oroville Council updated on blues fest, projects

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council heard an update of the Rally at the Border Blues Fest planned at the city’s Deep Bay Park on Saturday, May 17, from Vicki Hinze, head of the blues fest committee.

“One of the things we are requesting is to put up a two by ten foot Rally at the Border banner in Triangle Park,” said Hinze, adding, “and we’d like to expand the motorcycle parking on Main Street in front of those businesses that can benefit the most – gift shops, restaurants, etc.”

Hinze said the event committee was hoping for at least 300 to 400 motorcycle riders to come into Oroville for the Run for the Border charity ride.

“We just think it would be awesome to have motorcycles up and down Main Street,” she said, adding that the blues festival had been advertised all over Washington State and many places in Canada.

“I think it’s fine,” said Councilman Ed Naillion.

“I have no problem,” added Tony Koepke.

The council gave the committee permission to put up the banner, expand the motorcycle parking on Main Street and put up sandwich boards with arrows pointing the way to the blues fest, as well as ambulance standby.

The committee was also granted $1700 of the advertising budget that had been set aside for the Can Am Powerboat Races that were cancelled for this year. The remaining $500 of the $2200 that had been set aside will go to the proposed Jet Ski Races set for this summer.

“I just want to thank you guys again for your support,” concluded Hinze.

Project Updates

City Superintendent Rod Noel updated the council on the several Oroville public works projects.

The Central and Cherry Street Water Project was on schedule, according to Noel.

Work on replacing a water pipe from Main Street to Cherry via Central necessitated closing the north bound lane on Main Street/US 97 through town. Flaggers directed northbound and southbound while work was being done. Photo by Gary De Von

Work on replacing a water pipe from Main Street to Cherry via Central necessitated closing the north bound lane on Main Street/US 97 through town. Flaggers directed northbound and southbound while work was being done. Photo by Gary De Von

“It’s moving along and they don’t plan on crossing Main Street this week because of the event (May Festival) this weekend,” said Noel. “I think they are doing a pretty good job.”

He did say it would probably mean part of Main would be dug up on the weekend of the Run for the Border and Blues Fest.

The replacement of the water line is just part of a project that includes pavement overlays of Central Avenue to Cherry Street and Cherry Street to the bridge. In addition new ADA compliant wheelchair ramps are being installed on Central and Cherry, replacing old ramps that were no longer up to code.

Noel also said the reservoir tank for the North End Water system was shipped on May 8 and is scheduled to be erected on May 15. The project is running several months behind and was scheduled to be completed before last winter.

No longer part of RTPO

Chris Branch, director of Community Development, updated the council on Oroville’s involvement in the Regional Transportation Planning Organization, which had included Okanogan County and the municipalities in the county. He said that the RTPO’s other partners, Chelan and Douglas County, as well as Wenatchee and East Wenatchee had basically kicked Okanogan County out.

“It’s time for Okanogan County to form a Consortium of Governments (COG),” said Branch “We can’t be an RTPO with only one county so in order to take in dollars we have to form a consortium of the county and the cities in the county.”

Branch said such a consortium of governments would give Oroville and Tonasket more of a chance to comment on things like expansion of the Heavy Haul Corridor, which both towns have taken issue with, as well as how .09 infrastructure monies are spent.

Currently the infrastructure monies are divided 40 percent to the county, 40 percent to the cities and 10 percent for Emerging Opportunities.

“Emerging Opportunities funds were set aside for things like if a company wants to locate here. We’ve taken advantage of the funds two or three times. A consortium would stop one particular community from going directly to the county and trying to get those funds,” Branch said, adding that the decision would be made by the consortium, not just the county commissioners alone.

The council passed Resolution 534 to join a COG and designate Branch as the city’s representative.

Other Business

The council also heard from Nicholas Clase from the U.S. Explorer Scouts Troop 00230. He said that the troop would have a dunk tank at the May Festival at Oroville High School. He asked for volunteers from the council to sit in the tank. The event was for raising funds for the troop, which is sponsored by the Oroville U.S. Border Patrol Station.

“I would encourage all the council members to participate… I hope to be there,” said Councilman Walt Hart.

The council also approved direct deposit of employees’ paychecks and amended the 2014 budget to include the airport preservation project and North End Reservoir Project funds.

A Park Use Request for the Web Hallauer Memorial on May 25 and a Senior Project to build a score board for the soccer fields were also 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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