Budget is slight increase over this year’s
OROVILLE – The City of Oroville is looking at approving a 2016 budget of $7,878,862, about $46,000 higher than in 2015, according to JoAnn Denney, City Clerk/Treasurer.
“We did pretty good about not increasing it much over this year’s,” Denney told the city council at their Tuesday, Nov. 17 meeting.
She said the budget includes repairs to city Well No. 1 and improvements to the public library.
“We also have a TIB application in for 16th Avenue the budget reflects that project as well,” said Rod Noel, city superintendent, adding that the fund is for cities with populations under 5000.
“It’s questionable if it will be funded, this is the third time it has been submitted,” Noel said.
Chris Branch, the director of community development presented another draft animal ordinance. In fact he presented two, one with an exemption for animals used for vegetation control and without.
“It would be hard to enforce an ordinance with the vegetation control exemption,” said Branch.
Councilman Ed Naillon, who has voiced concerns about the exemption at previous meetings, as well as Councilman Jon Noel, indicated they were against the ordinance in that form.
“I would prefer the exemption be out of there. If it remains you could get in to a situation where a potentially dangerous animal was being transported,” Naillon said, adding that saying the animals could only be allowed during daylight ours.
“That might be an irritant,” Naillon said.
Violation of the ordinance, in whatever form it is formally adopted, would be an infraction rather than a misdemeanor, according to Branch.
Police Chief Todd Hill said the civil service has tested eight people for potential officers, including one lateral officer. He said they got three entry level applicants.
Councilman Naillon, who is stepping down from the council at the end of his term, will also lose his position on the Okanogan County Transportation Board. He emphasized that Oroville should chose someone from the city government to take his place.
“It is important work, especially for this end of the valley, we tend to get shorted,” he said. “Since I am vacating my seat it is important to find a council member to serve. We have approved our five year plan and I have pushed hard for our end,” said Naillon, adding that Tonasket Mayor Patrick Plumb has also been vocal for improved service for the north end of the county.
“Patrick does a great job representing the north half, he really looks out for us,” said Naillon.
The transportation system has hired bus drivers, a CEO and bought new buses. It is also funding the Okanogan Senior Transportation and Nutrition buses. The system has started by expanding the service in the Omak/Okanogan area, according to Naillon.
“There is really a lot of good work to be done with our tax dollars. We need to expand ridership appeal. We need to get nice comfortable places for people to stand. We have purchase four or five shelters and we are looking for some park and ride locations,” he said, adding, “We have a functioning organization now.”
Naillon said the CEO they hired has experience. The Oroville bus has multiple spots where it stops, more like a shuttle.
“If you call ahead they will even pick you up anywhere if you are disabled or have a hardship.
“We appreciate Ed’s work on the board,” said Mayor Spieth.