City has public hearing on Oroville Reman and Reload expansion

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council held a public hearing to discuss a conditional use permit regarding the expansion of Oroville Reman and Reload’s lumber mill operations at the council’s Tuesday, Sept. 6 meeting.

Mayor Chuck Spieth informed those present that it was a closed record hearing on a zoning conditional use permit application. Input for the public record had already taken place at a previous Oroville Planning Commission meeting and this hearing was to only consider the previous hearing record and recommendation for a final decision by the council, Spieth said.

The mayor asked if there was any discussion by the council and Councilman Jon Neal said that Robert Grunert, who lives near Oroville Reman and Reload facility, had issues with the noise. A representative of the company had said the operation would employ a professional for noise monitoring and Neal wanted to know if that would be done. Christian Johnson, Oroville’s Permit Administrator, replied that professional monitoring was a condition of the permit and would be required when the third kiln went on line.

Councilman Walt Hart asked about dust abatement. Reman and Reload has been applying a dust control substance twice a year to deal with any additional dust, according to Johnson.

Councilwoman Neysa Roley wanted to know about additional traffic in the area. Johnson said that Reman and Reload would be dedicating an additional 20 feet of their property along Ninth Ave., Bob Neal Road and Jennings Loop Road for street right of way.

The discussion was closed and the mayor entertained a motion for a decision. Neal moved to adopt the Planning Commission’s Findings of Facts and Conclusions and to approve the conditional use permit as recommended. The motion received a second from Councilman Tony Koepke and was approved.

Another public hearing, this one regarding the final review of the state Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) for Housing Enhancement of the East Oroville Harvest Park permanent farmworker housing, was also held that night. Although the $244,380 grant, which paid for extension of the city sewer line to the permanent farmworker housing, was received by the Oroville Housing Authority (OHA), the city agreed to act as grant administrator. The grant also paid for road rehabilitation where needed because of the placement of the new sewer line.

Oroville City Clerk Kathy Jones reported that no complaints or grievances had been received regarding the project and that the city had received a letter from the state Department of Commerce saying all documents and reports, with the exception of the final Close Out report, met requirements of the grant program. Cheryl Lewis, Director of the OHA, reported that no major problems were encountered during the project and that no complaints were received at her office or at the job site. She also thanked the city for sponsoring the grant on behalf of the OHA.

Jones told the council he final close out report would be filed a soon as possible and the mayor closed the hearing.

Oroville Fire Chief Rod Noel discussed the costs of making changes to the fire station if the city were to purchase the used 50-foot ladder truck from Omak. He said that the station would need to be modified and a “curtain style” roll up door would have to be installed. He said building repairs to house the truck could run $8000 or more. The fire chief, who is also the city’s Superintendent of Public Works, said he would be checking out the truck which is priced at $15,000 the next day.

Noel also discussed submitting a grant to the Federal Emergency Management Administration’s Firefighters Assistance Program to purchase a smaller Zodiac-type boat for search and rescue. The application would be due prior to the next council meeting and would require a five percent match, however the final estimated costs were not known at that time

Councilman Tony Koepke submitted a list of 11 questions he wanted answered about the boat. Among these were questions about what would be included with the boat and how it would be hauled. Noel said the grant would include the boat, motor and trailer. The fire department’s one-ton or other city vehicles capable of towing a trailer could haul the boat.

Koepke also wanted to know where and how the boat would be stored. He was told that the boat would be stored at Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park during the summer season and stored semi-deflated in a city building during the winter.

Training for fire, police and ambulance personnel would be needed for the operation of the boat, as well as water rescue certification. Debra Donahue, Oroville Ambulance Coordinator, told the council that a few on the ambulance crew already had basic water rescue training.

Keopke had several other questions and voiced his concerns about the overall increased costs to own and operate the boat. He said the city might not have these funds and stated he was against spending money on the boat. However, after further discussion the council authorized the application for the FEMA grant.

Donahue reported that she would also like to apply for a FEMA grant to cover advanced training costs to upgrade the level of the ambulance crew. She did not have a cost estimate at the time of the council meeting, although the city would need to provide a match, she said. The council decided that the application could be made, but final decision would be left until after it was known whether the grant was received or not.

Josh Minarcin, a senior at Oroville High School, presented his senior project proposal to the council. Minarcin would like to paint the Fire Hall /Police Station Building. He told the council he had access to all the equipment needed to do the job and had around seven people to help him. He would begin fundraising by seeking donations from local businesses to purchase the estimated $1500 in paint if the council approved his plans. Supt. Noel asked what kind of timeframe the senior would need to complete the project and Minarcin said at least two weekends. Noel also said that the building would need some repairs prior to painting and would need scraping and pressure washing first.

Clerk Jones asked if raising the funds to complete the project was a requirement of the senior project. Minarcin answered that it wasn’t and Jones said that there were funds set aside to paint the building this year. Supt. Noel said he supported the city supplying the paint, as it was a huge project that Minarcin was willing to undertake. The council agreed and the city will supply the paint.

The next Oroville City Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. On Tuesday, Sept. 19 at the city council chambers at city hall located at 1308 Ironwood Street.