Oroville looking at purchase of new Christmas decorations

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council heard discussion on purchasing new Christmas decorations to replace the old wreaths and red lanterns on the light poles.

City Clerk Kathy Jones told the council there was a 50 percent off sale on lighted “silhouette” type decorations from a supplier. She suggested that Oroville go with six-foot poinsettias as Tonasket had snowflakes and Omak had little Christmas trees. The estimated cost with brackets, according to Jones, would be $191 each. Shipping would be extra.

“During the staff meeting we also discussed incorporating the old lanterns into the decorations if we can,” said Jones. “I’m not sure if we could pay for half and maybe an organization would be willing to raise money for the other half.”

Jones said the mayor, council and city staff volunteered several nights 12 years ago to redo the wreath decorations and lanterns, but they were starting to show their age again.

“The old ones are getting really bad, either we have to redo them again, which took a long time last time, or get something new,” said Jones.

The purchase of 30 ornaments, about enough to cover half the light poles in town, was approved. After some gentle ribbing of each other Jones, Mayor Chuck Spieth, Councilman Ed Naillon, City Superintendent Rod Noel and Police Chief Clay Warnstaff said they would by the first five. Mayor Spieth is putting out a challenge to local businesses each buy one as well.

Rod Noel presented the council with a plan to charge a yearly maintenance fee for businesses and residences with fire suppression sprinkler systems. He said that when the systems in businesses and residences are inspected they are required to charge the systems and then purge them and this wastes a lot of water down the drain.

“I think within the next ten years we will see these type of systems are required in a lot more new construction,” Noel said. “The building people are fighting new requirements, while the fire departments are in favor of them. We are not trying to run anyone out of business with these fees, we are just trying to cover our costs.”

Mayor Spieth appointed Susie Seger to the Oroville Planning Commission. Seger, who was an alternate, will take the spot previously held by Rocky DeVon.

Police Chief Warnstaff discussed development of a Rapid Response program for the schools. He said the department was planning to devise an exercise that would include an evacuation of the school, with bus staging and helicopter evacuation.

“We will meet with the principals on Feb, 23 for a tabletop exercise. Later we will meet with the faculty and then do a full-blown exercise with the students. Tonasket School District does it with their police force and we’re looking at doing something like that,” said the chief.