Water and sewer rates going up in Oroville

Oroville has been offered the remaining year of a two-year lease of this billboard along Main Street by Rocky and Cindy DeVon of RE/MAX Lake and Country Real Estate, the current leaseholders. The council discussed using hotel/motel taxes to advertise Lake

Oroville has been offered the remaining year of a two-year lease of this billboard along Main Street by Rocky and Cindy DeVon of RE/MAX Lake and Country Real Estate, the current leaseholders. The council discussed using hotel/motel taxes to advertise Lake

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council voted approval of a two-year increase in water and sewer rates for all customers inside and outside the city limits.

“The last increase was in January of 2008… this two-year increase covers increases in insurance, electrical and new improvements to the well and reservoir,” said Kathy Jones, city clerk/treasurer, referring to Ordinance 796.

The rates on water customers within the city would increase by $1.50 a month in the first year and an additional $1 a month in the second, according to Jones. Councilman Tony Koepke made the motion to approve the increase and Councilman Ed Naillon seconded it. Koepke, Naillon and Councilwoman Neysa Roley voted approval and Councilman Walt Hart III abstained.

Ordinance 797 will raise sewer rates for two-years with customers inside the city limits paying an additional $2 a month in 2011 and $2 a month in 2012. Commercial rates will increase by $2 a month as well and those residents on the sewer system outside of the city limits will see a $4 increase in rates.

The increases will be used towards repayment of the city’s portion of the county’s Public Works Trust Fund loan used to make improvements to the city’s sewer system on the south end of town, as well as the Bio-solids project.

Koepke made the motion to approve the rate increase and it was seconded by Hart and passed unanimously.

Jones reported that next year’s budget will be $6,368,500. The budget for 2011 is approximately $2 million less than this year’s due to fewer big-ticket projects – like the Main Street Pedestrian and Bio-solids Projects. The budget will be adopted at the Dec. 21 council meeting.

At the Dec. 7 meeting, the council also voted for renewal of the Building Inspector-Permit Administrator Interlocal Agreement with Tonasket and Okanogan. Oroville, which administers the contract with Christian Johnson, has Johnson two days a week, as does Okanogan. Tonasket has Johnson one day a week.

Rocky and Cindy DeVon, owners of RE/MAX Lake and Country Real Estate, have contacted the city about taking over their lease of the south side of the billboard across from the public library. The company has one year remaining on the lease at $250 a month. Jones told the council that the lease would include “one new vinyl” and could be paid for through hotel/motel taxes. Jones said it would be a great way to advertise Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park (which was transferred to the city from the state last year) and the vacation home rentals at the park, as well as the location of the Depot Museum and Visitor Information Center.

The sign includes a reader board in the lower right corner, which has been used for advertising upcoming events in the past. Jones said with certain guidelines the posting of upcoming events could be continued.

“This probably is one of the best opportunities we’ve had to advertise local events,” said Mayor Chuck Spieth.

“I like that idea better than having a beer ad there,” said Koepke.

The council instructed Jones to obtain further information on leasing the south side of the billboard.

Two Oroville High School seniors, Amanda McAllister and Davis Castillo, submitted proposals to the city for their senior projects.

McCallister submitted a written proposal regarding repainting the interior of the old Visitor’s Information Center on Main Street. Oroville is looking at moving the “two Chrises,” Chris Branch, Director of Community and Economic Development and Permit Administrator/Building Inspector Christian Johnson to the now empty city-owned property at 1730 Main Street. McAllister estimated the cost for paint and supplies would be $175 and presented some paint chips of various colors for the city to chose from. She said she wanted to complete the project during the Winter Holiday break from school.

“I met with Chris Branch about painting the inside of the old VIC so they could use it. I have color swatches for you to chose from and pricing for materials. It will probably take five to eight gallons to paint… five without the ceiling,” McAllister said. “I am asking that the city only pay for the materials.”

Castillo’s project would be to construct a second scoreboard for the city’s Bud Clark Ballfields. He was asked to prepare a written proposal with cost estimates and funding details. He told the council that he had a list of materials and costs from the senior who made a scoreboard for the park last year and would update the information to suit his proposal.

“I have some ideas to try and raise the funds to pay for the scoreboard,” Castillo said.

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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