Oroville passes $8 million 2013 budget

No collective marijuana gardens allowed

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council approved a 2013 Budget of $8 million, $1.5 million more than last year due to additional projects.

The budget was approved following a public hearing at the beginning of the Tuesday, Dec. 18 city council meeting.

“These projects include the construction of the North End reservoir, STP and TIB Central to Main and Central to the Cherry Street Bridge project, including replacing a portion of the water main, the city’s share of the new ambulance, Stonegarden participation, water and electric extension to 20 to 26 camping spots at Veterans Memorial Park,” said City Clerk Kathy Jones.

The cost of the street improvements are primarily covered by grants, while the reservoir project is funded through the federal government as part of the deal to supply water to the new U.S. Border Station through the city’s North End Water System. Stonegarden is a program of the U.S. Homeland Security Agency and in the past has helped to purchase equipment, including one patrol vehicle, for Oroville’s police department.

“The budget includes a 1.5 percent adjustment in wages and there are no water or sewer utility rate increases proposed at this time,” Jones added.

The council meeting was also advertised as a public hearing regarding a text amendment to the land uses within the city limits regarding collective gardens for the growing of medical marijuana.

“Collective gardens are not allowed under federal law, it’s pretty straight forward and the council gave us (the planning commission) direction,” said Chris Branch, director of community development.

“If it is against federal law it is not allowed in our zoning code. I would suggest you allow public testimony and recommend you adopt specific wording regarding collective gardens,” said Branch.

“This does not address personal possession or anything like that.”

Mayor Pro Tem Walt Hart asked if there was any public testimony and hearing none called for a motion.

“This ordinance covers anything that is not allowed under federal law… I move to adopt 821 according to the findings of staff and the planning commission,” said Councilman Ed Naillon.

The motion received a second from Councilman Tony Koepke and was 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 the 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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