Oroville council updated on several ongoing projects

OROVILLE – It was an evening of updates for the Oroville City Council at their Tuesday, Sept. 7 meeting.

The evening started with Oroville Police Chief Clay Warnstaff introducing new Officer Jacob Herrick, who graduated from the police academy last month and has returned from field officer training. Herrick is now patrolling Oroville’s streets.

Neal and Debbi Vigas inquired as to the status of the Eastlake sewer odor control problem. Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works, reported the city was waiting for final approval from the Okanogan County Commissioners regarding the installation of Bioxide Chemical System.

“There’s money available but the county commissioners have to authorize it being spent. We have located some loaner equipment, the big issue is the tank to store the chemical in. We have to take in 4,000 gallon loads to get a price break. There has been a tank located in Montana and it looks like it will be available in about a month,” Noel said.

The loaner equipment would be just that, on loan from the chemical supplier as long as the city buys the chemical, thus saving the cost of purchasing the equipment. By purchasing the chemical 4,000 gallons at a time the city would pay about $2.40 a gallon, saving $1.50 a gallon over purchasing it 1,000 gallons at a time. There city will still need to find a location for the four-foot-wide, eight-foot-tall tank and will talk to Veranda Beach about a location since it needs to be by their lift station.

Costs of adding the chemical will need to be born by the sewer users in the new Eastlake Sewer Project, however, it is hoped less chemical will be needed as more wastewater is introduced into the system when more people are connected and using it.

“As more development takes place I think we will work our way out of the odor problem,” Noel said.

In a somewhat related matter, Noel reported that the Bio-Solids project at the city’s wastewater treatment plant had passed its final review.

“The machinery is operating and we are starting our sampling to get a ‘Class A’ approval from the Department of Ecology. We sample for seven straight days and then those are sent to the lab and Ecology will look at the results,” Noel said.

Noel was also asked to report on the city’s Main Street Pedestrian Project which developed sidewalks, curbing and gutters from the north city limits to the south city limits following the east side of the street. After completion this summer the state Department of Transportation made an inspection and felt that the project was not totally built to specifications and wants the contractor, Cates and Erb from Omak, to make several corrections, especially on the north end of the sidewalk.

“They were supposed to start the repairs today,” Supt. Noel said at Tuesday’s council meeting. “We’ve indicated to the engineers that if they don’t start soon we won’t let them start because we are not going through the winter shut down again. It needs to be fixed to design and if they have to take out the sidewalk to repair to design that’s what the state will make them do.”

City Clerk Kathy Jones told the council that there was also a change order for the contractor to correct the driveways at the south end of town. She said that the DOT has said they are to have no more than a two percent slope.

“The state also wants some additional wall to be built at the Veterans Memorial Park,” Noel said.

Councilman Tony Keopke made a motion approving the change orders and it was seconded by Councilman Jon Neal and passed unanimously.

The council also gave approval to have the mayor sign the contract with the CAMIS Company for park reservation services once City Attorney Mick Howe has had a chance to go over the contract and CAMIS clarifies a few details in the contract found by city staff.

“It sound like a good deal for us,” said Councilman Walt Hart III.

In a park related matter, Jones told the council their .09 funding from the County’s Infrastructure Improvement fund expires Dec. 31. She said the improvements to the sprinkler system will need more time than that and an extension of six months has been requested.

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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