Oroville readying summer vacation rentals at Veterans Memorial Park

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council was updated on the readiness of vacation rentals being prepared at Lake Osoyoos Veterans Memorial Park at their Tuesday, April 19 meeting.

“We’re starting to purchase furniture and are exploring laundry services… the one company we contacted said it would be cost prohibitive if they did it… we are discussing our options,” said Kathy Jones, Oroville’s clerk-treasurer.

Rod Noel, the Superintendent of Public Works, said that the fire sprinklers had been installed at the old State Park Ranger’s residence and at the mobile home that the city plans on offering as vacation rentals at the park which was transferred from the state to the city last year.

“They did a really nice job… the install is very professional,” said Noel, who is also the city’s fire chief.

Jones added that the plan is to only rent out the house this summer, offering the smaller rental next summer.

“I want to give Rod and his crew some atta boys regarding the park… it looks great. They’ve opened up places that haven’t been seen before,” said Mayor Chuck Spieth, referring to the grounds keeping at the park.

“We want to make keeping up with the maintenance easier,” Noel said, adding that the city has two summer crew members back from last year and is looking at hiring a couple more.

Rich Solberg has been chosen as the camp host this year, an uncompensated position. He will live at the park and help to answer questions from those using the campground area.

Noel said that Solberg has asked about providing wireless Internet to campground patrons and the city will looking into costs of installing it. The city will also study whether the service would be offered for free if provided or whether it would be an extra charge to people paying to use the campgrounds.

Councilman Walt Hart III said that many campgrounds provide wireless Internet for free as part of the camping fee.

The council decided to renew their membership in the North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force. The fee is $1000, the same as last year, but down $500 from two years ago. Councilman Tony Koepke made the motion to approve and Hart seconded the motion.

Romine Fuel Inc. of Oroville won the city bid to provide fuel and petroleum products for the city’s vehicles. Romine, which operates a card-lock fueling station, as well as a bulk plant, was the only bidder. They bid $3.617 per gallon for unleaded and $4.059 per gallon for diesel. They also provide gear lube, grease and hydro-fluids at reduced rates.

Jones reminded the council that this does not mean the costs to the city cannot increase if Romine’s costs were to increase.

Councilman Jon Neal made the motion to accept the bid and Koepke seconded it.

Noel reminded the council that aviation fuel is increasing in cost, but the tank at the airport had only recently been filled.

“Aviation gas continues to climb, it is up 30 cents since we filled the tank and that was not long ago. It is going up five to 10 cents a week,” said Noel.

In other old business, Noel reported on crosswalks in the school zone. After pricing the cost of using long-wearing epoxy paint on the crossings in the school area Noel said it would be around $7,000. This paint has to be applied by a certified applicator said Noel, who added the cost for painting all the sidewalks in town usually runs less than half that cost.

He suggested for this year the city paint the school area crosswalks at least twice yearly to address the concerns brought to the attention of the city by the Parent Teacher Organization last month. He also suggest the city consider replacing the school crossing signs with the newer high-visibility florescent paint ones.

“We talked a month ago about the PTO asking the school to make an area near the crosswalks where there is no parking. I see no difference between now and a month ago… if anything it has gotten closer,” he said. “They need to start making changes in the parking.”

Mayor Spieth said, “I would rather see us paint more often and use the money we save for better signage.”

In another matter relating to the school, Noel said the district has fixed their fire alarms so that it is connected with the telephone system. For the past several years, unbeknownst to the city fire department, the alarms were not connected to the phone system and there was no way for the alarms to get to dispatch.

“Even last year our superintendent didn’t want it discussed,” said Councilman Neal.

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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