Council hears reports from Public Works, Parks

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council heard reports from the head of Public Works and Parks departments at their Tuesday, April 2 council meeting.

In what turned out to be one of the shortest meetings of the year, Superintendent Rod Noel said that he and the Street Committee, Councilmen Ed Naillon and Jon Neal, had reviewed all the quotes for replacement of the motor in the city’s grader which quit while doing snow removal last winter. Noel said it was decided to award the contract to U.S. Diesel Remanufacturing at a cost of $10,385.

Supt. Noel said the investigation into septage being dumped into the city’s sewer collection continues.

“We have been notified by the Department of Ecology regarding someone dumping things into our system and putting us over our limit… we were in violation in one section last week,” said Noel, adding that the problem started about six months ago and could result in fines to the city if it is not stopped.

Noel explained to the council that it appeared someone was dumping “septage” into the city’s waste collection system through a manhole or other access point.

“It just started happening out of the blue… all of the sudden we got issues,” Noel said. “We had an investigator up from the DOE and we’re trying to find them. The DOE says they have had issues elsewhere where septic haulers dump into a city’s system through a manhole.”

Noel added that Oroville has never come close to approaching the limits set by the state before these incidents started.

Parks Department

In other business, Noel reported that the park’s department was working to get Veterans Memorial Park open and they had started a new employee at the park that day.

“We are keeping the park open during the day and trying to get the campground ready. We are also soliciting people who might be interested in running the concession stand, he said.

The park’s head said the work on the Deep Bay Park boat launch was completed. He said that eight concrete slabs in the ramp had been replaced, along with washed out rock to hold the ramps in place.

Mosquito Spraying

“I’ve made some preliminary inquiries with Okanogan as to whether they will be able to assume the permit,” said Jones.

The plane that has done the spraying for Omak and Oroville in the past was involved in an accident and can no longer do the spraying. A helicopter service was located to do the spraying, but they want $10 per acre, which is a higher price than last year.

Eastlake Sewer

City Clerk Kathy Jones reported on the meeting she, Noel, Mayor Chuck Spieth and Director of Community Development Chris Branch had with the county commissioners and County Planner Perry Huston regarding the Eastlake Sewer System.

“The county commissioners are working on their resolution to transfer the system to the city,” Jones said. “I think we had a very good outcome. We should probably see a draft of the resolution in the next two weeks.”

Noel said he hadn’t worked with the two new county commissioners, but felt they were easy to deal with.

“I was impressed with Commissioner (Jim) Detro, he explained things really well,” said Noel.

Oroville is looking at alternatives to joining with Omak for mosquito spraying this summer. Jones said that Omak, which has a state permit for spraying, has had to make financial cutbacks. These included eliminating funds for mosquito spraying from their budget.

Transportation on Ballot

The city has received brochures and the final draft of the Transit Service Plan from the Okanogan County Transit Authority to review. The OCTA is proposing a ballot measure for November of this year asking four-tenths of one percent be added to the local sales tax to fund countywide transit services.