Sidewalk project going into hibernation until spring

OROVILLE – Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works, told the Oroville City Council that the sidewalk pavers were doing the last of the clean-up before putting the pedestrian project to bed until spring.

“There’s a lot of area that is between 9th Avenue and Expressions that needs to be done, and we prefer that they wait until spring,” Noel said.

He also said the project called for some electrical revisions regarding the streetlights. Currently Oroville pays a flat rate to the Public Utility District per each streetlight. The 28 new streetlights originally called for in the project specifications were 440 voltage, according to Noel, and the flat rate would not cover those. Oroville’s current lighting is all 120 volts and the PUD said that if the city changes then the way it is billed will have to change.

“We decided to change to the lower voltage lights and continue with the flat rate charge. It will increase the cost of the project… $63,000 for the wire alone, but will save $7,573 for an electrical panel and cost less in the long term,” Noel said. “The money is within the contingency for changes.”

Noel said that although the lights that were ordered do not have outlets built in for things like holiday decorations adding outlets at a later date is not a problem.

“The only difference is that the holiday lights would come on and off with the electric eye that controls the streetlight,” he said.

The council also discussed the ongoing problem of people parking their RVs, utility trailers, boats and inoperable vehicles along the sides of the street.

“We are coming up on snowplowing time again and we have a big problem with these vehicles, especially on the north side of Prince’s Warehouse. I am totally disgusted,” said Councilman Tony Keopke.

Another vehicle that came up was a motorhome that had been parked on the street for over two weeks and turned out to be a repossession by Wells Fargo Bank.

“They should have to park it in their parking lot, it’s big enough,” said Koepke.

Another vehicle that has caused some concern among the council is a motorhome that is parked near the end of Appleway near the American Legion Apartments.

Oroville Police Chief Clay Warnstaff said he had approached the owner about the situation and the owner said there was no law against parking the vehicle on the side of the road.

Supt. Noel said there was if the vehicle was sticking out into the road’s right-of-way because it represents a road hazard, which he believed it was.

” Maybe we need to address our ordinances regarding this issue,” said Mayor Spieth.

“To park a travel trailer that is unhooked to a vehicle in the parking strip just doesn’t look good for the town,” said Noel.

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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