Oroville still working on new 'no wake' ordinance

OROVILLE - The Oroville City Council heard an update on the effort to draft a new No Wake Ordinance governing...

Buoys mark the channel where the No Wake Zone begins between Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park and Zosel Dam downstream. The slower speed helps to protect wildlife which are abundant in the area, as well as preventing shoreline erosion. Photos by Gary D

Buoys mark the channel where the No Wake Zone begins between Osoyoos Lake Veterans Memorial Park and Zosel Dam downstream. The slower speed helps to protect wildlife which are abundant in the area, as well as preventing shoreline erosion. Photos by Gary D

OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council heard an update on the effort to draft a new No Wake Ordinance governing watercraft traveling the channel between Osoyoos Lake Veterans Park and Zosel Dam.

Oroville Police Chief Clay Warnstaff and Director of Community Development Chris Branch updated the council on what they had come up with so far at the council’s Tuesday, Aug. 15 meeting. The two men are continuing to work on the ordinance to make sure boats and other watercraft travel slowly between the two points. In addition to an existing county ordinance, which designates it a no wake zone, state law also makes it illegal to travel at over seven knots within close proximity of the shoreline.

“Rather then adopt a stop gap measure while we tweak the new ordinance, we went with the Okanogan County interim ordinance which will allow the city to enforce current the county ordinance while we continue to develop our own,” said Branch after the meeting.

The council also revisited the possibility of annexing the Oroville-Tonasket Irrigation District pumping station property that is located south of the park. The property is surrounded by land within the Oroville city limits, but is currently designated as being in the unincorporated part of the county.

Branch and Oroville Mayor Chuck Spieth met with representatives of the irrigation district to discuss annexation, utility tax costs and Okanogan County Public Utility District (PUD) wheeling. They reported that it might be possible to reduce the utility tax in order to encourage the OTID to pursue annexation.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation currently wheels (directly provides electricity) to the irrigation district and as a result up until 2010 the PUD had not been collecting the city utility tax for Highland Drive Irrigation Pumps.

Branch discussed the possibility with council that the city pursue collecting the taxes due from the previous years.

Marcy Hunt appeared before the council to discuss her interest in starting recycling in Oroville. Branch suggested she contact the Okanogan County Waste Commission as well as the Green Okanogan group, which has started a recycling program in Tonasket. Hunt said she would do so and report back to the council. Councilman Walt Hart expressed his support for recycling on behalf of the council.

In other business, Fire Chief Rod Noel reported that the Omak Fire Department was selling their 1974 American Lafrance ladder truck for $15,000. According to Noel, the truck has been completely refurbished and that he felt the price was in line with other available used equipment. Mayor Spieth and the council instructed Noel to pursue the purchase. After the fire chief discusses financial issues with the City Clerk Kathy Jones he will contact Omak Fire Chief Bowling for more information.

Hart updated council concerning road name signs that should be updated. He was misinformed concerning one sign and stated the spelling Sawtells, ending in “s” was correct for Sawtells Road.

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