STP grant for Cherry and Central Street paving

OROVILLE – Oroville will receive over $400,000 from the Federal Highway Administration to improve Central and Cherry Streets.

Rod Noel, superintendent of Public Works, told the council at their Tuesday, March 20 meeting that the city has been awarded a $437,413 federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) grant to do overlays of Central and Cherry streets.

“These funds are to be used to improve streets that serve as minor collectors that lead to county roads,” Noel said. “It will be similar to the paving of Central and Cherry we did in 1995.

“We should also work on an estimate to see if we can replace that part of the water line on Central at the same time the road is dug up. That older section of the water line has broken six or seven times, according to Noel.

He said the city has been applying for the grant every year since 2007 and it came as a surprise when the grant was approved. He suggested the city apply to the state Transportation Improvement Board for a TIB grant to cover the required 13.5 percent city match.

“From what I hear from the feds, this may be the last of the STP for some time,” said Chris Branch, director of Planning and Community Development.

In other business, representatives of the Columbia River HOG appeared before the council to discuss the upcoming Run to the Border motorcycle ride.

Stan and Tina Janowicz, local members of the Harley Owners Group (HOG), asked the city council for permission to again block off parts of Main, Golden and 14th streets so the more than 300 motorcyclists expected to roar into town on Saturday, May 19 have a place to park. The event is in honor of Armed Services Day and helps to raise money for veterans, according to Janowicz.

“The purpose is to help honorably discharged vets and their families, assisting with physical, financial and emotional needs and helping with referrals to the various outreach and facilities connecting them with those who may be able to assist them,” read Janowicz from an event flyer.

“This event is about vets helping vets,” he said, listing several causes the money from last year’s event went to.

“We provided 30 dinners and boxes of groceries at both Thanksgiving and Christmas. We also helped a young vet going through surgery get caught up with some things.”

He told the council that the group plans to leave Wenatchee at 10 a.m., getting to Pateros about 11 a.m. and leaving there at 11:30 with arrival in Oroville somewhere between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.

Janowicz expressed his gratitude for the assistance the town and Oroville Police Department have given in past years.

Oroville Police Chief Clay Warnstaff asked if the group might have some volunteers to put out cones in Oroville in advance of the riders’ arrival.

“The local American Legion has a new riders’ organization that may be able to help with that,” suggested Arnie Marchand.

“I’m glad to hear it’s the tenth year,” said Councilman Walt Hart, who was serving as mayor pro tem.

“I have to admit it is really impressive when the group rides in,” added Kathy Jones, city clerk.

Janowicz said riders of all brands of motorcycles are welcome to participate. There is a $10 fee, which includes a ride pin. Riders from Oroville and elsewhere in the county have been known to ride to Wenatchee the day before to join in Saturday’s 150-mile ride, while others ride to Pateros on Saturday morning to join the group there and travel back up to Oroville.

In an update Noel said there was a draft agreement regarding water services for the new U.S. Border Patrol station being built near the border. However, according to planner Branch, the draft was submitted by the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Customs and Border Protection would prefer to write the draft themselves.

“It will be very similar, but they wanted to do it,” said Branch.

“The county is also in the throes of doing airport zoning, according to Branch.

“There is a feeling there that they don’t want to have zoning overlays, but want specific zoning districts for the various airports,” Branch said.

The planner also updated the council on Reload and Reman’s continued efforts to add various noise suppression to bring the noise down at their facility.

“They’ve been very cooperative and Christian (Permit Administrator Johnson) continues to monitor the situation,” Branch said.