Planning to expand July 4th Fireworks Display

Oroville Ambulance Coordinator Debra Donahue and EMT Jackie McDaniels demonstrate the ease with which patients can be loaded and unloaded from Oroville's new ambulance using the power gurney. Gary DeVon/staff photo

Oroville Ambulance Coordinator Debra Donahue and EMT Jackie McDaniels demonstrate the ease with which patients can be loaded and unloaded from Oroville’s new ambulance using the power gurney. Gary DeVon/staff photo

Several Oroville projects coming to completion

OROVILLE – Clyde Andrews, Oroville Chamber of Commerce president, discussed the plans for an expanded Community Fireworks Display at the Oroville City Council meeting Tuesday, June 3.

“First of all we are requesting the use of Deep Bay Park for this year’s July 4th fireworks display. While Dane Forester has been organizing for many years, he’s tired. He’s still willing to help organize the fireworks themselves and shoot them off, he’s tired,” said Andrews.

In addition to helping raise money to cover costs of the show, Andrews said the chamber wants to expand the show to include other activities, like a patriotic song contest and decorated boat parade.

“We are hoping to have a bigger display too… last year there was something like $5000 and $1500 of that went to insurance. We are trying to raise nearly $10,000, but we don’t want to go over $10,000 because that puts us into another license category,” the Chamber president said.

Andrews said the Chamber has discussed other ways to raise money including charging for parking at the park, rental of the picnic shelters.

“These and possibly having more vendors could provide a little extra cash for next year’s event,” said Andrews.

After some discussion about whether the covered shelters could be rented or auctioned off by Mayor Chuck Spieth and the council, it was decided that since the Chamber was reserving the entire park on the Fourth of July they could also raise money using the park facilities.

“I think it would be fine if the city waved the park use fees and allowed the park to be reserved and used for fundraising,” said Councilman Ed Naillon.

Project Reports

Oroville Public Works Superintendent Rod Noel reported that the tank for the North End Reservoir Project has been completed and that the water will just need to go through water purity certification. The reservoir was constructed to increase reliability in Oroville’s north end water system which serves businesses and residences north of the city limits on the west side of Osoyoos Lake. The water system is being upgraded because of the new U.S. Border Patrol Station and most of the funding for the reservoir is being paid for using federal funds.

“The tank looks well put together and it looks like the project will be completed mid-month. All that has to be done before it can be used is to cut into the main line,” said Noel.

“That’s good news… it’s been a long time coming,” said Mayor Spieth.

Noel added that the contractor, who is behind schedule on the project “is on liquidated damages” because of the time frame. He said that since May 9th there is a penalty of $500 a day that the city could collect.

Noel also reported on the Central and Cherry Street Project which replaces a water line, as well as repaves portions of the two streets.

“I’m sure everyone is getting tired of Central and Cherry being torn up, but I can say that the project is on schedule,” Noel reported. “They had 10 or 12 trucks lined up with hot asphalt when there was a cloudburst that hit right while they were on Fir and Central. When it stopped raining they were able to get things dried out and it didn’t seem to stop them.”

Noel explained that the reason why the parking areas on both sides of the streets were paved first, leaving the center part unpaved. He said that because federal funds were used in the project, a more durable, and more expensive, mix of asphalt was necessary in the travel lanes. The extra cost of the different material will increase the price of the project by about $7500 which will be born by the city.

“In reality we haven’t paid much for the project,” said Clerk Kathy Jones.

“Just the water side… the street side has been paid for 100 percent through the grant,” said Noel, adding, “They are scheduled to be finished paving on Thursday (June 5) and have the entire project substantially finished by the end of the week,” he said.

Dorothy Scott Airport

Airport Services Manager Steven Johnston reported that the airport has been busy. He said it probably will become more busy even as much of it will need to be closed down due to the planned $785,800 FAA/State Aeronautics Airport Project planned for later this summer.

“It will become complicated because of the helicopters that are used to dry off the cherries and because there is a new cherry worm from China which will mean increased spaying,” said Johnston. “Fire season in Alaska has already started as well.”

Johnston said the airport will be kept open for rotary wing aircraft for agriculture and fire season during the construction.

He also requested that the city sweep the runway because he had a turbo prop KingAir airplane land twice and sand and other materials are hard on that aircrafts props.

Other Business

Oroville Ambulance Coordinator Debra Donahue received permission to add Tosha Robinson to to EMT list. She also reported that she was excited about the implementation of high performance CPR in the region. She said that she and fellow EMT Paul Bouchard had got to the Methow to become trainers.

“For rural counties it will make a big difference in survival rates,” she said.

Donahue also reported that MedStar Air Ambulance now had a base in Brewster.

“We had a Marion Creek patient and they landed near the School House Museum. The timing worked out really well. It is a good thing for our communities to have them based in Brewster,” she said.

Following adjournment, the mayor, several council members and members of the public followed Donahue across the street to look at the new ambulance.

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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