Remodeling begins at Oroville Public Library

Gary DeVon/staff photo  Work has begun on the remodeling of the Oroville Public Library. The library's old brick chimney was one of the first changes as it was taken down on Monday morning, leaving a chimney shaped hole in the back of the building facing Madeline Wells Park. The work is being done by Robert Lawrence Construction and part of the crew can be seen working on a ladder through the hole in the wall. One section of the craftsman-style building dates back to 1913.

Gary DeVon/staff photo
Work has begun on the remodeling of the Oroville Public Library. The library’s old brick chimney was one of the first changes as it was taken down on Monday morning, leaving a chimney shaped hole in the back of the building facing Madeline Wells Park. The work is being done by Robert Lawrence Construction and part of the crew can be seen working on a ladder through the hole in the wall. One section of the craftsman-style building dates back to 1913.

Fiber mill could be city’s biggest water customer

OROVILLE — Salley Bull, with the committee heading up remodeling at the Oroville Public Library, reported to the city council at their Tuesday, Oct. 18 meeting that work had begun on the project, years in the making.

“Robert Lawrence Construction will start work on Monday, Oct. 24 by tearing down the chimney,” said Bull. “Robert has been getting pretty excited about this project.”

Other things that Lawrence’s crew will be doing include tearing out 18 feet of wall in one location, making a new entrance between the two parts of the building and building a new wall in a different location.

“Thirteen people moved everything we needed moved in two hours,” she said. “We also put in 21 feet of double sided shelving that holds 42 feet of books we took off of 45 feet of wall, so we got most of the books on the new-to-us shelving.”

Bull said the library purchased the shelving second hand for $6700 a year ago. The 1500 pound shelving unit would have cost about $40,000 new, according to Bull.

The old shelves, made with 12 or 16 foot one-by-six boards will be available to anyone that wants them, according to Bull.

“If not, Rob and his crew will take them down and they will probably be used for forms,” she said.

Bull also asked for the mayor’s signature on a form so that student volunteers from the high school could get community service hours for the project.

In other news, Oroville Police Chief Todd Hill presented a revised animal ordinance to the council for their approval.

“Initially I was concerned with the beekeeping section, but after consulting with my family I agree with approval,” said Councilman Ed Naillon who moved the ordinance be approved.

The motion passed unanimously.

The council agreed to the city entering into an interlocal agreement with the county in regard to the EMS District.

“It looks like they agreed to all our concerns,” said Councilman David McElheran, who moved for approval and the motion was passed.

The council also approved Public Works Superintendent Rod Noel’s request for an agreement with Varela & Associates for Professional Service in conjunction with Water System Planning.

“It is an update to meet state requirements and it is pretty expensive and has to be done every five years,” said Noel. “A lot of water users are lobbying the state to extend it out to 10 years because with the new technology there are not a lot of changes.”

Chris Branch, director of Community Development, said he wanted to submit to the state Department of Ecology’s Floodplain by Design Grant Program for support and received the OK from the council.

According to the program overview, “Floodplains by Design (FbD) is a partnership of local, state, federal and private organizations focused on coordinating investment in and strengthening the integrated management of floodplain areas through Washington State. Floodplains are vital to the ecological health of the state. They are critical to the economic vitality, cultural heritage and quality of life provided by our region—from salmon to farmland and commercial development and recreational opportunities.

Ecology awards grants on a competitive basis to eligible entities for collaborative and innovative projects throughout Washington State that support the integration of flood hazard reduction with ecological preservation and restoration. Proposed projects may also address other community needs, such as preservation of agriculture, improvements in water quality, or increased recreational opportunities provided they are part of a larger strategy to restore ecological functions and reduce flood hazards. This document describes the intent of the program, and how to apply for funding, meet program requirements, and manage funded projects. “

Under new business, the city signed another service contract with Vision Computer Services at the request of City Clerk JoAnn Denney.

“How much do you use that service?” asked Councilman Naillon, regarding the IT company.

“Actually quite a bit, recently I had a virus in my machine and it had to go to Spokane for about a week,” said Denney, adding that Noel and Branch’s computers were no longer supported because they were over five-years-old.

The city has received a draft Letter of Intent from the Eco Fiber Mill to lease property at the city’s Skyview Industrial Park on which to build a milling facility.

“It’s quite a lease,” said Naillon.

“I’ll be over a 100-years-old when that expires,” added Councilman Walt Hart.

“If they can make it work I’m all for it,” said Naillon.

Public Work’s Noel said the lease calls for the use of 20,000 gallons of water a day.

“That’s quite a lot of water and will put a pretty big hit on the city’s water system They are talking about recycling their water; I’m not sure how much of that 20,000 is recycled. The amount of water they think they will use varies from 11,000 gallons in the winter to 40,000 gallons in the summer months,” said Noel, adding that the mill could end up being the city’s biggest water customer.

Lastly, Steve Johnston, the Airport Services Manager at Dorothy Scott Municipal Airport, reported that the Archeological Historians doing the Cultural Resource Assessment had been keeping busy at the Oroville airport. They are doing test probes in advance of airport improvements that will take place at the facility, including the eventual shifting of the airport runway.

“They are probing there and at Veterans Park this week,” said Noel.

The probes at the park are part of a survey being done prior to new electrical hook-ups being added in the camping area.

The next Oroville City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. in the city council chambers located at 1308 Ironwood St., Oroville.

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.