What kind of park do you want? (Vote in the Poll)

‘Princes Heritage’ name of new Oroville Park

OROVILLE – While there has been a big push to make a soccer field out of the new Princes’ Heritage Park, no decision on what kind of park the former bin storage lot will become has been made.

The park, both the name and what kind, were discussed at the Tuesday, April 7 Oroville City Council meeting.

“I would like to suggest something that incorporates the Prince family for all they have done for the town over the years,” said Mayor Chuck Spieth.

After talking about the name, Councilman Ed Naillon suggested Princes Heritage, to honor the community involvement of the Prince family over the years, and their leasing of the property to the city for $1 for five years, with an option for a second five years.

Naillon, who serves on the park committee, along with Councilman Tony Koepke, suggested the city gather public input before making any decision about what kind of park it would be.

“If we are going to have public events, we have got to do some planning on traffic patterns, especially if we have large vehicles like busses turning around,” he said.

Rod Noel, head of the parks department asked for some guidance on irrigation. He said at the very least he’d like to get permanent sprinklers installed and grass growing so as not to have a dust problem with the now vacant and leveled off lot. He presented the council with some very preliminary drawings of the park, including his proposal for parking and what it would look like if a soccer field was developed on the south end. Noel said such a field would take up more than half the park and that a group of proponents for a soccer field had approached him.

“I think we’d be safe to design parking lots for the most intensive use possible,” said Naillon.

Noel said with his working cost estimates he wasn’t sure the city could afford to fence off the entire park this year.

“Chain link is expensive. And of course another issue is rest rooms. If we look at permanent rest rooms they are expensive as well. You are looking at about about $50,000 and that’s pretty spendy. Since we do not own the property I’m assuming we are looking at sani cans,” he said.

Noel was given the go ahead to proceed with the irrigation and getting some grass growing. He said that he felt there could be as many as 150 parking spots.

“We’re going to need parking regardless of the use of the park,” said Naillon.

Other suggestions besides a soccer field have included a walking track around the perimeter, swings and other playground equipment, as well as a skate park. No matter what is constructed the council agreed that since the park land is only being leased, anything of a permanent nature would be hard to justify at this juncture.

The council would like additional input on what ind of park the public would like to see. The Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune will have a new opinion poll online at www.gazette-tribune.com for people to vote on what they would like.

Rally at the Border

Representatives for the Run for the Border charity motorcycle ride and the Rally at the Border Blues Festival were on hand to discuss the upcoming events, slated for Armed Services Day, Saturday, May 16. Vicki Hinze, spoke about the progress being made to prepare for the blues festival which takes place at Deep Bay Park in and coincides with the annual charity ride from Wenatchee to Oroville, sponsored by the local Harley Owners Group. Hinze showed the council the promotional materials that had been prepared and pointed to an app on her phone that said there were only 38 days, 15 hours and seven seconds to go.

“Everything seems to be moving in an upward direction. We’ve sold more tickets online at this point than we did last year. The local motel has sold out of rooms and Veranda Beach Resort has stepped up with a nice package for that weekend,” said Hinze.

She said members of the Rally at the Border committee had attended several blues and motorcycle events to spread the word and in addition to posters and print ads the group planned to put advertisements on every radio station within a 200 mile radius of Oroville.

“We also plan to do more coverage in Okanogan County itself, including more posters,” she said.

She added that the event would start at noon, rather than 2 p.m., as it had in 2014, its inaugural year. The Okanogan County Shriners will again provide the shuttle service and have a raffle to help raise funds for their charities. The Border Patrol Explorer troop will also do parking at the lot being provided by the Rally.

Jeff Bunnell, another member of the committee said the city should expect more riders this year, as several had turned around last year due to all the construction being done on the highway between Wenatchee and Oroville. He said the group already expects many more Canadian riders to participate and feels the event will continue to expand.

Hinze said that the group had applied for special liquor permits in order to reopen the Pastime Bar and Grill open for May Festival and Rally at the Border festivities and hoped the council would approve.

Tina Janowitz, from Okanogan, was on hand representing the Harley Owners Group. She asked the council to approve a parking plan along Main, Golden and Appleway that was similar to last year. However, the Rally at the Border group asked that even more of Main be set aside for motorcycle parking.

The council voiced their approval for both the Armed Services Day events.