Oroville seeking letters supporting transfer of state park to city

OROVILLE – Oroville wants Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial State park to be transferred to the city and is seeking the public’s support.

The city council discussed the need for letters of support at their Tuesday, Feb. 16 council meeting, according to Kathy Jones, Oroville’s clerk-treasurer.

“We need a letter writing campaign from those that support the park being transferred to the city and we need the letters by March 5 so we can take them with us when we meet with the state Parks and Recreation people to give our presentation,” said Jones.

Veterans Memorial State Park is one of 13 parks the state had decided to close as part of a cost savings measure. The Oroville mayor and council, reasoning that the park was such a big part of the recreation and economy of the city, was one of the first to ask that rather than close the park it be transferred to the city to operate. The transfer was all but approved, when representatives of the Colville Confederated Tribe, which also asked to be considered, threatened legal action because they said the Parks and Recreation Commission had not followed their own guidelines. The commission asked that the two entities, the Tribe and the city, come back and make new presentations to the parks and recreation staff, which in turn will make their recommendations to the commission on who should get the transfer.

“Those who want to write letters of support can mail them to city hall at P.O. Box 2200 or come by the office during office hours and drop them off or drop them through the slot in the door. We just have to have them by March 5,” Jones said.

The city will travel to Lakewood, Wash. south of Tacoma to make their presentation on March 11.

“Anyone who wants to come and support us at that meeting is welcome also,” said Jones. “The meeting will be at the Lakewood Community Center, 9112 Lakewood Dr. S.W. in Lakewood, Wash. If you need more information you can call this office at (509) 476-2926,” said Jones.

At their meeting the council also discussed the importance of participating in the upcoming U.S. Census, according to Jones.

“Hopefully everyone will participate, the city gets funding based on a per capita basis and we get grants based on our needs too,” she said. “The census helps to determine funding for many facilities, like hospitals and clinics as well.”

The council authorized the city’s engineers to prepare an application to the state’s drinking water revolving fund for green projects. The deadline for application is March 1 and due to the nearness of the deadline the council reasoned the engineers, Varela and Associates, which have most of the pertinent information on the water system, would be best to make the application for the city, according to Jones.

The city hopes to use the funds for replacing the north end water main, which has experienced some leaks recently.

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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