Oroville City Council updated on mosquito spraying

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council heard an update on the city’s plan to spray for mosquitoes and learned that staff is recommending treating some wetlands adjacent to the city limits.

“I’ve talked to our attorney about spending money to do so outside the city limits and he said it was okay as long as it was beneficial to those living inside the city,” said City Clerk Kathy Jones at the Tuesday, July 5 council meeting. “I also spoke with the commissioners about notifying those that live in those areas too.”

The city has budgeted $7500 to spray for mosquitoes this summer and in order to make the best use of the treatment, which will be applied aerially by helicopter, city staff wants to wait until most of the high water has cleared up. To get a better price the city combined with the City of Omak to bid on the spraying this year.

“The hot weather is helping to get the water to go down… I contacted Omak and it looks like they are planning on spraying next week, the week of July 11. I feel the longer we can wait for the water to go down the better,” said Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works. “This is the first year for us doing it, so it is a learning experience.”

Jones said that the Omak and Okanogan areas do not have as many areas with standing water so waiting for water to recede isn’t as critical an issue.

“No matter how long we wait we’re not going to get them all, we’re just going to knock down their numbers,” Noel said.

Last week the city sent out a notice on the spraying and plans on informing people what morning the spraying will take place via KOMW radio. People will be asked to keep their pets indoors during the spraying and to refrain from watering their lawns for at least 24-hours following the aerial application.

In other business, the city council approved Resolution 516, the Six Year Transportation Plan. The plan makes no changes to the previous year’s plan, but is a requirement in seeking funding for street repairs.

“It is identical to last year’s, with just the dates changed. The city did no street work last year because it was tied up with the Main Street Project and there is no extra funding to do street work this year,” said Jones.

Noel reported that the state Department of Health has approved the city’s water system plan and Jones asked the council’s permission to switch from Cascade Computer to Vision IT for it’s computer maintenance.

Jones explained to the council that one issue the city has had with Cascade Computer was it was discovered that the city’s backup system was not working for several weeks. The company’s solution was to send a “little plug-in external backup” according to Jones.

“We are not satisfied with them. I think it would be money well spent to switch. Switching will cost about $1000 more, but $750 of that will allow for remote maintenance of our computers,” said Jones.

Councilman Tony Koepke made a motion to approve the change and it was seconded by Councilwoman Neysa Roley and passed.

The city received a letter from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife requesting permission to put up a receiver to count tagged Chinook Salmon that are migrating into Lake Osoyoos. Fish and Wildlife has two sites in mind, one at Veteran’s Memorial Park and one at the sewage lift station on the north end of the Cherry Street Bridge, according to Noel.

The city also received a letter from the state Department of Ecology commending the city on the operation of the sewage treatment plant. Noel said that this is the fourth year in a row that plant operator Ted Williams has received recognition for his management of the plant.

“We also need to compliment Dane Forrester for the fireworks show at Deep Bay Park this year,” said Jones.