Oroville mayor reappoints department heads

OROVILLE – Oroville Mayor Chuck Spieth reappointed department heads and the city council approved them at their Tuesday, Jan. 3 meeting, their first meeting of 2012.

Mayor Chuck Spieth named Kathy Jones, clerk-treasurer; Rod Noel, city superintendent and fire chief; Clay Warnstaff, police chief; Chris Branch, planning/community development director; Christian Johnson, building official/permit administrator; Debra Donoghue, ambulance coordinator and Mick Howe, city attorney.

The meeting was also a public hearing on the extension of the Critical Areas Ordinance. The current ordinance has been extended several times while an updated ordinance is being worked on. The extension will be until July when the city will have a public hearing to adopt the final Critical Area Ordinance.

Planning and Community Development Director Branch told the council that fish and wildlife habitat, riparian areas and wetlands components were “very changed” with the state giving small communities much more flexibility, adding that the first of two workshops was scheduled for the next night.

Councilman Jon Neal made a motion to approve the extension and Councilwoman Neysa Roley made a second and it passed.

The Oroville Council is considering an increase in the water and sewer rates.

“Oroville’s rates are the lowest in the county,” said Clerk-Treasurer Jones, who provided the council with a comparison sheet that listed water and sewer rates in Oroville, Tonasket, Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, Coulee Dam and Republic. Inside Oroville’s city limits the base rate (for 5000 gallons) of water is $21.50 a month, lower than all the other cities in the chart. Those in the North End Water Users system pay $29.00 and those in the Eastlake system (outside the city limits) pay $31.00 for the same amount of water. By comparison Tonasket pays a base rate of $27.25 a month for 3750 gallons. Sewer rates within the city limits are $26.00 per month and those outside the city limits pay $39.50. Tonasket sewer system users pay $30.61 per month inside the city limits and $35.61 outside the city limits. The sewer rate inside the city limits is the lowest of all the cities on the comparison sheet, with the exception of Republic which has a rate of $25.00 a month.

Under old business, the council authorized Mayor Spieth to sign an agreement renewing Veranda Beach Resort’s lease of the city’s Skyview industrial park building for one year. The resort uses the building to store construction equipment and materials.

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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