Oroville’s 2014 budget already on the rise

City needs to set more aside for patrol car

OROVILLE – Even before approved, Oroville’s 2014 budget will likely increase by at least $12,000 over the $8,267,700 discussed at the previous council meeting, according to Kathy Jones, city clerk/treasurer.

“One reason is we set aside $25,400 to purchase a police vehicle, but Chief (Clay) Warnstaff said it has to be a four-wheel drive if Stone Garden is going to give us $10,000 toward the purchase,” said Jones.

“I don’t know where we will get the extra, we’ll have to wait until we close the books on this year,” she added. “It looks like we’ll have an $18,000 increase over the preliminary budget we looked at last time.”

Chief Warnstaff added that buying a four-wheel drive vehicle, similar to the Ford Explorer purchased using federal Stonegarden grant monies a couple years back will add about $10,000 to the purchase over what has been budgeted and the grant money.

​According to the U.S. Homeland Security website, “The intent of the Operation Stonegarden (OPSG) Program is to enhance law enforcement preparedness and operational readiness along the land borders of the United States. OPSG provides funding to designated localities to enhance cooperation and coordination between law enforcement agencies in a joint mission to secure the nation’s land borders.”

Oroville and Tonasket have both been recipients of grant funding. In return, off-duty police officers are paid by the federal government to help with patrols along the border.

Mosquito District Resolution

Councilman Ed Naillon made a motion for Oroville’s inclusion in a mosquito district which is being formed by the Okanogan County Commissioners. Final approval for the district would be put before the voters and an assessment would be made to pay for mosquito abatement in those areas that have agreed to join the district. The motion was carried and an area of Oroville, similar to that which was sprayed in the passed, will be included in the new Okanogan County Mosquito Control District.

Charter Cable Franchise

There was also additional discussion of the request from Charter Communications to renew their franchise in Oroville. Mick Howe, the city’s attorney reviewed the agreement and made changes similar to those requested by Tonasket. Councilman Tony Koepke made a motion to approve the agreement. Councilman Neal said he had further concern with some of the wording.

“It pretty much allows them to put their equipment anywhere they want,” said Neal.

“For the most part they’re (Charter’s lines) on the pole and the town has never had any issues in the past,” said Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works.

The council approved the agreement with the cable and internet supplier.

Winter Market

The mayor and council discussed the use of the Library Reading Room for the Winter Market.

“We’ve now had the opportunity to review our usage policy. We felt it didn’t meet the requirements, we also checked the load capacity,” said Mayor Chuck Spieth.

The capacity of the room varies depending on whether it is used for conferences or events like the library book sale, according to Jones.

“In discussions with the library board and representatives out of Omak, most usage has been in conjunction with the library,” the mayor added. “We have no problem with the outdoor market.”

Jones said the city’s insurer has also suggested that users of the reading room sign a “user’s agreement and provide proof of insurance for $1 million.

The mayor also said that the kitchen, which was being used during the one Winter Market that was held before the city stopped it, was being used for a purpose that it was not intended for.

“The kitchen is deemed an employee lunch room, not a commercial kitchen,” said Spieth.

Further review of a Winter Market and library policy was assigned to the library committee, made up of Councilman Neal and Councilwoman Neysa Roley.

Historical Society Signs

Arnie Marchand, representing the Okanogan Borderlands Historical Society, presented the group’s plan to place a Depot Museum and Visitor Information sign next to the Welcome to Oroville sign that the chamber of commerce placed at the south entrance to town. He said they had obtained permission from the property owner to do so.

Noel suggested that putting too many signs in the same location makes it harder for people to read as they enter town. He suggested the triangle park as a better location. He and Marchand will work on the new location.

Marchand also reported that the kitchen has been removed from the depot making way for more display space at the museum, an increase in 1077 square feet of space.

“We will have a display on Okanogan Indians in 2014, it will be the first display of its kind just on the Okanogan Indians,” said Marchand.

He added that the display will coincide with six public presentations on the group discussion the tribe’s dance, custom, culture and tradition.

“Most will be ‘Before BC, meaning ‘Before Caucasians.” said Marchand. “The following year the railroad model will be hooked up again and we will have and Oroville display.

Other Business

The mayor reappointed and the council approved, Joe King to the Civil Service Commission for another six-year term.

Noel suggested that people leave a small stream or dribble of water from at least one of their indoor faucets during the ongoing period of below freezing temperatures.

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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