Oroville receives TIB grant for street improvement

OROVILLE – Oroville will receive a state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) grant to improve Ironwood Street and portions of Fir with pavement overlays.

City Clerk Kathy Jones informed the city council at their Tuesday, Dec. 6 meeting that the city was eligible for an $81,011 TIB Smalls Cities Pavement Preservation grant which comes from state gas taxes. The city will be responsible for $4,264 for a total project cost of $85,275.

Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works, said the money would be used to do an overlay of pavement on Irowood Street starting at 12th Street to the south city limits. A section of Fir Street from 17th to 18th streets would also receive an overlay.

“We’ve been kind of lobbying the TIB because it is hard for us to get chip seal up here. We have been applying for the grant for the last three years,” Noel said. “It will be a good project and fix problems down by the school and Henry Kniss Park.”

There has been a request by the owners of the properties at Number 5 and Number 9 Balmes Road (the former Ed Wietrick properties) to be annexed into the city. Balmes Road is on the north side of the Okanogan River, near the Cherry Street Bridge. The council set the Tuesday, Jan. 17 meeting to have a public hearing to consider the annexation.

“There is a possibility to take in other properties in the area by the time we have that meeting. Staff will have suggestions, including the piece of property the city has there as well,” said Branch, explaining that other property owners in the area have asked about annexation into the city in the past.

Currently the city limits continue north on the west side of the Chesaw Road, a county road, while they stop at Balmes Road on the east side of the Chesaw Road. However, Oroville’s Bud Clark Ballfields and the Farmworker Housing on the east of Chesaw Road on Sawtells Road are within the city limits leaving the Balmes Road area as an unincorporated area nearly surrounded by the city on three sides.

In other business, the council agreed to a year-by-year extension of city attorney Mick Howe’s contract at a reduced price. Howe, who retired from most of his private practice agreed to continue with several of his municipal clients for a three-year term. That term expires at the end of this year.

Councilman Jon Neal made the motion to approve the renewal of Howe’s contract on a year-to-year basis.

“I’ll second that motion. Anytime the price goes down I’m in agreement,” said Councilman Tony Koepke.

Mayor Chuck Spieth informed the council Richard Werner’s six-year term on the Oroville Civil Service Commission would expire in January. The mayor asked and received the council’s approval on Werner’s appointment to a new six-year term.

“He has served us well,” said Spieth.

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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