Oroville looking at rehab of water well #4

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council gave approval to hire a company to rehabilitate Well #4 at their Tuesday, March 14 meeting.

The well, which is used mostly during the summer months when people are irrigating, has become highly mineralized and no longer comes back to normal levels fast enough, according to Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works. The well has lost about 200 gallons a minute, adds Noel who suggested the city hire Water Recovery Services Inc. to do the rehabilitation on the well.

To rehabilitate the well, the pump is pulled, the well is sealed and liquid carbon dioxide is pumped inside under pressure.

“It is like dropping dry ice into the well, it cracks stuff loose helping to break loose formations and develop the well,” said Noel. “The company can send references, it has a whole list of wells done in our area and around the state of Washington.”

Noel told the council that Varella and Associates, the city’s engineers, has successfully used this technology to rehabilitate wells in the past.

“I think it looks like a good investment,” said Councilman Ed Naillon.

The council agreed that the concession stand at the city’s Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park should be leased out this summer, but rather than leasing for the whole year, to do it on a month-to-month basis, “This way no one can be locked in and the lease can be canceled by either party with 30 days notice… and asking 20 percent of the gross was kind of a healthy hit,” said Noel.

“That’s the first thing that jumped out at me when I read the proposed lease,” said Councilman Walt Hart III.

Mayor Chuck Spieth added, “Especially if they are providing the major equipment.”

Councilman Tony Koepke said he would rather see the concession stand at the park rented then “just sitting there.”

Whoever leases the stand will be required to provide equipment that is approved by the County Health Department, as well as $1 million liability insurance.

“I feel by leasing it month-to-month we’ll have a year into it and get a feel for it,” said Naillon.

Noel also suggested that whoever leases this year should get the opportunity to rent for another year if they want to if both parties are happy with the arrangement.

The council agreed to make the changes discussed in the lease and a price of $100 a month, plus excise tax, was suggested.

The council also revisited the issue of school crossing safety that was brought to its attention by representatives of the Oroville Parent Teacher Organization at their March 1 meeting.

“I gave them some ideas… some of my concerns are parents parallel parking while picking up their kids. There are kids walking between cars creating an unsafe situation,” said Noel. “What the school really needs is some staff parking.”

Police Chief Clay Warnstaff told the council that his wife had found funding specifically for what the PTO was asking, especially concerning a crossing warning sign with flashing light and an area that tells the speed of approaching vehicles.

The regular crossing signs are the responsibility of the city, according to Noel. The PTO had asked the city to investigate the cost of the new, more visible neon-colored signs. Noel said these signs cost three times more than the old ones, but if the council decided to replace the old signs they are available.

“I am going to look into some thermoplastic for the crosswalks,” Noel said, explaining that the state uses thermoplastic for marking the crosswalks on the highway and that it is much more durable than paint.

“I investigated the cost and it is about $350 for the tape for one crosswalk… it is expensive, but if it lasted five or six times longer it could be worth it,” Noel said. “And I agree with Clay, a flashing light gets your attention, it’s a good idea when kids are walking.”

Noel said the problem still remains that there is no place for the parents to park to drop and pick up their kids.

“They need a better loading and unloading zone,” added Councilman Naillon, who is also a teacher at the schools. “It would help if the school could enforce the staging area.”

The council approved the purchase of a new 4-wheel drive tractor and mower from Burrow’s Tractor in Wenatchee which had the lowest price, based on the state bid. The New Holland tractor will cost the city $19,265, minus the tax and will be delivered to the city for free. The tractor will replace an old 1994 Jacobson unit, according to Noel.

Councilman Koepke made the motion to approve the purchase and Councilman Naillon seconded it.

There was some discussion about the water mainline that runs behind the Old Depot museum and the placement of a new building for expanded exhibit space and storage behind the museum.

Supt. Noel told the council and Kay Sibley, director of the Okanogan Borderland’s Historical Society, that the mainline appeared to be too close to the location of the building as it is proposed.

“I investigated and then had Kenny (Cumbo) look again, it appears close enough that we will have to pothole it to be sure. It looks like it is within two feet of the proposed building and we should have at least five feet between.”

Noel explained to “pothole” means the city crew will need to dig holes at certain intervals to physically see the PVC and cast iron mainlines and where they travel across the property behind the depot so it can be marked out.

At a previous meeting a representative of the Youth Soccer Program asked for permission to place a sign at the soccer fields featuring the name of the major donor to their program. Drawings of the proposed sign have been approved by the building department, according to Noel. He said as proposed, the sign will be 4 feet by 8 feet with the name of he major donor on top and smaller 9 inch by 12 inch signs below for other donors.