Veterans Memorial Park is officially Oroville’s

OROVILLE – At their Tuesday, April 6 meeting, the Oroville City Council learned that Lake Osoyoos Veterans Memorial Park has been officially transferred over to the City of Oroville.

“The deed of record and the transfer became official on March 25,” reported Kathy Jones, Oroville’s City Clerk.

She added, “I traveled to Wenatchee about utilizing the state’s park reservation system at a reduced rate and we will be able to continue using the system.”

Jones said that the city has developed job descriptions and has advertised for three summer park positions. She also said that the city will be advertising for a park host.

“We had our first unofficial park campers,” said Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works.

The campers entered the park after the gate hadn’t been locked following the Easter Egg Hunt the day before Easter.

“We are still in discussions with the state over equipment,” Noel said.

The county has agreed to fund park start up costs to the tune of $50,000 out of their Emerging Opportunities Fund,” said Chris Branch, Oroville’s Director of Community and Economic Development.

Councilman Ed Naillon made a motion adopting a resolution allowing the mayor to sign the documents accepting the park’s transfer to the town. Councilman Jon Neal seconded the motion and the council unanimously approved it.

Mayor Chuck Spieth and Councilman Walt Hart III said people wanting to volunteer some time cleaning up the park had approached them about getting it ready for it’s opening on May 3.

“It usually gets pretty busy for May Festival,” said Jones.

“Nobody has done anything out there since last fall – there are only two or three weeks before May Day,” said Noel.

There will be an all-day work party, starting at 8 a.m. on Thursday, April 15, to get the park ready for summer guests. Volunteers are asked to bring any hand tools, rakes, pruners and trimmers to the park that day to lend a hand.

A closed record hearing was also held in regards to a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) and zoning change for Scott and Sons Rental Solutions, an equipment rental and repair business which will be located in the old Gazette-Tribune building at 813 Central Ave.

The hearing was closed to testimony because the Oroville Planning Commission had already accepted public testimony. Branch presented the record from that hearing and the staff report. It was recommended that the CUP and zone change be allowed.

Councilman Neal asked what the operating hours of the new business would be. Scott Eisen said they would be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Councilwoman Neysa Roley made a motion to adopt the planning commission’s recommendations by reference and the matter was approved.

In other business, Noel said that the city had received an assignment of a water right from the DOE that the city had been working on for over a year.

“The mayor, Chris, Kathy and I will discuss a policy for assigning water to those requesting it. There is still a lot of interest in water out there,” Noel said.

The Oroville Housing Authority has received notice that they have received a Housing Enhancement Block Grant for infrastructure improvements for the Harvest Park ag-worker camp on Sawtells Road. The work is expected to take place in the next four weeks, according to Noel.

Mark Smith, with USKH Engineering appeared before council to assure them that the work on the new Pedestrian Project which includes sidewalks, curbs and gutters running along the east side of Main St./Hwy. 97 from one end of town to the other, will be completed before May Festival.

“Hopefully the project will be substantially complete by April 30 and we can begin the punch-list. It should be totally completed shortly after,” said Smith.

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 the 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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