Library renovation bids come in too high
“We received two quotes for the library renovation, they were both over what we had budgeted. The lower of the two was $31,000 over, while the other was considerably more than that.”
JoAnn Denney, Clerk/Treasurer
City of Oroville
OROVILLE – After taking the oath of office, Ed Naillon returned to the Oroville Council at their Tuesday, July 19 meeting. Naillon volunteered to fill the position left by Jon Neal when he was selected as mayor after Chuck Spieth passed away.
Naillon, a Career and Technical Education teacher, was originally appointed to the council on Aug. 17, 2008. He applied for that position after Jason Blotsky announced his resignation because he and his family were relocating to North Dakota. The Oroville High School teacher was later reelected to the position, however, when his last term was up he decided not to run until the empty position came open and he decided he would fill it until the next election.
“Welcome aboard,” said Mayor Neal.
The first order of business was to authorize the mayor to sign an application for a state Department of Health (DOH) Consolidation Grant. The grant would fund a preliminary engineering study, water plan amendment and public hearings to allow the city to serve the East Lake Water Association.
Consolidation grants help small systems that have water quality, monitoring, or treatment technique violations, suffer frequent water outages, experience high operator turnover rates, or demonstrate an insufficient response to sanitary survey deficiencies are all indicators of a lack of system capacity. The DOH encourages these small water systems (systems typically fewer than 500 connections) with one or more of these indicators to consider consolidation with another system, restructure (transfer) of ownership to another larger utility, or secure a regional water supply.
Councilman Tony Koepke made the motion and it was seconded by Councilman David McElheran that Mayor Neal be authorized to sign the grant agreement. The motion passed unanimously.
Chris Branch, the director of Community Development updated the council on improvements to Oroville’s Dorothy Scott International Airport. J-U-B Engineering is finalizing the scope of work and an independent fee estimate is needed so that the city can finalize a contact for services with J-U-B. The city also needs to finalize a contract for services for the next phase of the project, according to Branch, He asked the council to authorize the mayor to sign a grant application even though the final grant amount has yet to be determined.
“I hoped to have the amount before the start of the meeting as I know you don’t like to commit the city without that information,” Branch said. “However, if you authorize the mayor to sign the grant application the city will not be committed unless it is approved and the council gets a chance to vote on it before it can be accepted.”
Branch asked for the issue to be tabled until a later date when the information on the amount is received. He also said that the sewer at the Industrial Park may affect the project and will need to be addressed at a later date.
“The FFA would cover the cost of demolition, but not the cost to rebuild. We may end up having to connect to the sewer,” said Branch.
Later in the meeting, Branch requested the council authorize Mayor Neal to sign an FAA Grant Application for up to $180,000.
“There’s no obligation, you have the off ramp if later you don’t want to accept the grant,” said Branch.
After further discussion Koepke made a motion and it was seconded by McElheran that the mayor be authorized to sign the FAA Grant Application for up to $180,000 when prepared by J-U-B Engineers. The motion carried.
Under public appearances, Joseph Enzensperger urged the council to read the Rocky Mountain Ecometrics report on Enloe Dam put together by Anthony Jones. Enzensperger described Okanogan County PUD’s efforts to re-energize the dam as “the biggest boondoggle” because the amount of electricity the dam would be able to generate would not pay the debt on the cost to build the powerhouse and rehabilitate the dam. He said the dam would only generate enough electricity to provide for one-quarter of Oroville’s needs.
He also said the Similkameen is the best bang for the buck in regards to steelhead recovery in the Upper Columbia River system and if the dam was taken out these ocean going Rainbows would be able to get upriver, even past Similkameen Falls.
“The Similkameen is the best chance to survive in the whole Columbia Basin. If we have that we have more fishermen and more fishermen mean more ‘heads in beds’ which would benefit the whole community,” said the proponent of dam removal.
“The PUD says that if the dam has to come out we will pay for it; that’s a false narrative,” said Enzensperger.
“NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) said they’ll pay for dam removal,” said Councilman Walt Hart.
“NOAA has expressed great interest… when the PUD decommissions the dam they’ll have a willing partner,” said Enzensperger, who claimed the PUD had blocked funding for a sediment study because they didn’t want to know what was behind the dam.
He presented a draft resolution calling for the PUD to drop their efforts to re-energize Enloe. Enzensperger hoped the council would consider adopting it after they had reviewed the RME report.
Under old business, the council discussed the two library renovation bids that the city received.
“We received two quotes for the library renovation, they were both over what we had budgeted.,” said City Clerk JoAnn Denney. “The lower of the two was $31,000 over, while the other was considerably more than that.”
The city, Oroville Library Board and Friends of the Library will try and find ways to cut back on the project, saving some renovations for a later date.
Oroville Police Chief Todd Hill said Gary Hirst has been hired as an entry level police officer effective July 15. Hill said Hirst would have to pass an entrance exam for the Police Academy and if successful is scheduled to attend the Basic Law Enforcement Academy starting Aug. 9 in Burien, Wash. The academy is 22 weeks long and equals 720 hours of instruction, according to Chief Hill.
“We have also been slowly moving into our new building over the last couple of weeks,” said Hill. “Hopefully we will be in by next Friday and be fully operational, but most likely it will be completed by July 29.”
Oroville Fire Chief Rod Noel requested and received approval of two new members to the Oroville Fire Department, Jason Wildermuth and Marcus Rounds. The additions will increase the number of members to 24.
Car Charging Station
Michael Guss, director of the North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD) said the $16,540 grant to the USDA for the electric charging stations has been approved. Guss said one station will be installed at the Camaray Motel and a second station will be installed in Tonasket. The charging station located at the Camaray can charge up to three vehicles at one time. There was some discussion on positive impact the charging station will have on Oroville, including by Arnie Marchand, who volunteers at the Visitor Information Center. He commented on the electric car tours that will be future promotions for tourism.
Clyde Andrews, manager of the Camaray, said “It will be free to use, anyone can park there, you don’t have to say in the motel. Just this week I got a call from someone who said they were going to have to stay in Osoyoos because they had a Level 2 charger. This is just another way to put Oroville on the map.
Andrews, who is also the president of the Oroville Chamber of Commerce discussed positive feedback from the rack cards the chamber has been purchasing with the Hotel/Motel Tax Funds.