Oroville still working on Shoreline Management Plan

OROVILLE – Despite the county running out of grant money to update their Shoreline Master Plan, Oroville and the other incorporated cities of the county will pool resources to complete their own plans.

Oroville’s city council agreed to spend an additional $1000 to combine with Tonasket, Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, Pateros and the other incorporated cities of Okanogan County to retain Highlands and Associates to create a general update of the Shoreline Master Plan that can be fine tuned to meet each individual city’s needs, according to Chris Branch, director of Community and Economic Development for Oroville. Branch requested the funds at the council’s Tuesday, Jan. 9 meeting.

The county hired Highlands and Associates to complete a Shorelines Master Plan update using state funding that has been exhausted, according to Branch. The cities joined in the process, even though they are not required to update their own plans until 2014. By becoming early adopters the state had provided more resources for the county and cities to work on the plan together.

“I met with representatives from the other cities and we decided to see what needed to be done to finish off our updates… this only works if all the cities participate and Kurt Danison, the consultant for Highlands and Associates, said they could finish if we each paid $1000,” said Branch.

Danison will look at the plan as they stand right now and determine what it will take to address several comments from state agencies that have already been received and what it will take to finish the plan off, according to Branch.

“We worked with Kurt on Oroville’s plan some 20 years ago… I suggest we contract with them. We have that $4600 that has already been set aside and spending $1000 leaves a good piece to finish it off,” said Branch.

Branch added that Oroville’s plan would be more complex than the others as it has so much shoreline being situated between the Okanogan and Similkameen rivers and with newly annexed property along Lake Osoyoos.

In other council business, Rod Noel, Superintendent of Public Works, said that at a recent Superintendents’ Meeting, Omak’s Superintendent of Pubic Works suggested the cities put together an interlocal agreement for sharing specialized and other equipment.

“We would be able to borrow or rent special equipment and things like dump trucks if there’s a need during a disaster.” said Noel. One of the areas where we might take advantage is Omak has new camera equipment for checking out sewer systems. We could save money by doing it ourselves rather than having to hire a company to run a camera through our lines. I see several advantages, especially for the smaller communities.”

Noel said that Omak and Okanogan’s councils have already voted in favor of the interlocal agreement.

Councilmembers Tony Keope and Neysa Roley said they liked the idea.

Kathy Jones, Oroville’s clerk/treasurer reported that the city has received a letter from the Washington State Parks Department that outlines guidelines for presentations for consideration for a transfer of Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park. The letter also requests that the decision on who the park will be transferred to be moved up to the state Park and Recreation Commission’s March 11 meeting, she said.

Jones also announced that the City of Oroville was bequeathed $70,000 from Julie Grue, one of several bequests to various causes including North Valley Hospital and the Depot Museum, said Jones. The council agreed that the funds will be spent via the normal budget process and may help with a future ambulance purchase.

“A couple of weeks ago the council discussed the parking of RVs, boats, trailers and vehicles along the city streets and the problems they cause with snow removal, as well as aesthetics,” said Police Chief Clay Warnstaff. “I got online and came up with a few sample ordinances that might address this.”

Councilman Keopke said one thing he thought should be included in the ordinance is that all vehicles parked along the city streets should be currently licensed and operable.

Supt. Noel said he felt there were several trouble spots in town including in front of the U.S. Border Patrol station and along Central and Cherry Streets, although a number of the problem vehicles on Central had been moved.

“We have been pushing the snow up against the cars, there really is no other places it can go,” said Noel.

The council will look at the sample ordinances and discuss adopting a new ordinance at a future council meeting.

Chief Warnstaff also announced the resignation of Officer Cody Bilbrook as of Feb. 8. The Oroville police officer will be going to the Border Patrol Academy and will be stationed in North Dakota following his graduation from the academy, said Warnstaff.

The city’s civil service board has been informed and is planning on advertising the vacant position and is hoping to fill it through a lateral hiring. A lateral hiring means the new officer would not have to attend the state police academy and would already have a certain amount of time working at another police force.