Oroville weighs options on concession stand at Veterans Memorial Park

City again delays final hearing on Critical Areas ordinance

OROVILLE – No person or group has come forward to rent the concession stand at Oroville’s Veterans Memorial Park leaving the city to look for ways to make it more attractive to potential operators.

“We’ve had no proposals for the concession stand as of yet and it was put in the budget as a revenue generator,” said Kathy Jones, Oroville’s city clerk.

“I can’t understand why no group wouldn’t want to rent it and make some money,” said Councilman Tony Koepke.

To meet health department standards the prospective renter must have commercial grade equipment. Rod Noel, the head of the Parks Department suggested the city consider purchasing some commercial equipment for the concession stand to make it more attractive to potential renters, rather than expecting them to supply their own.

“We may have to find some used commercial equipment. I think the fact that whoever rents it has to bring their own equipment, and it’s a little tough to find off the cuff, is what scares them off,” said Noel.

“Basically there are only two good months to really make some money, July and August, said the parks head, adding last year’s vendor had already sold their commercial equipment.

Noel suggested the council consider purchasing items like a commercial refrigerator and freezer in the state bid or from a company that sells used restaurant supplies. He added that he had been looking at the state bid and there are some reasonable deals out there, although delivery costs would need to be factored into the final price. It might be less expensive to send someone to pick up the equipment and transport it back to Oroville, he added.

“I like the idea of the concession stand at the park, but for someone to have to buy the equipment and then just be open for two or three months is perhaps too much to expect,” said Councilwoman Neysa Roley.

“I personally feel we should pursue trying to find some equipment and I think the concession stand should be used,” added Mayor Chuck Spieth.

Clerk Jones suggested the city look for at least a refrigerator and a freezer if they could find one at a reasonable cost on the state bid.

Police Chief Clay Warnstaff added that the prospect of finding someone to run the concession stand might increase if the operator had items like canoes and paddle boats to rent from there.

In addition to agreeing to seek some used commercial equipment for the park concession stand, the council approved entering into an agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources to make the park available after Labor Day for a firefighters’ encampment should the need arise. The council directed Mayor Spieth to sign an agreement with the DNR similar to one they had with the agency last fire season.

In other park business, staff is working on a new park ordinance for all the city’s parks.

“We are continuing to refine the park regulations. We are looking at issues that need defining as far as enforcement,” said Clerk Jones.

The council approved the draft ordinance revisions, with all voting in favor except Councilman Walt Hart, who voted in opposition.

The council meeting started with a hearing on extending final adoption of the city’s new Critical Areas ordinance until May 21. There was no public testimony for or against the extension and Resolution 824 was adopted.

Delivery of the new ambulance will be delayed until after the first of the year so that the extra $25,000 for Stryker equipment can be part of next year’s budget. The council also learned that the point of sale will be Chehalis, Wash. where the sales tax rate is 8.1 percent, rather than 10 percent, as it was originally thought.

The council has also agreed to renew its contract with the North Central Washington Narcotics Task Force at $1000.

“Do you still think we are getting a benefit from it?” Mayor Spieth asked Chief Warnstaff.

“Yes,” he replied.

Councilman Ed Naillon made a motion to approve renewal and it was seconded by Roley and passed unanimously.

In addition, the mayor was authorized to sign the Construction Phase Agreement regarding Central and Cherry Streets, pending state Department of Transportation approval.

The council approved waiving the fee for the ambulance crew to standby at the tennis courts during the May Festival 3 on 3 basketball tournament.

Chief Warnstaff said he would have five officers on duty during the May Festival weekend.

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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