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City Manager's Weekend Update


April 13, 2018

Welcome to the weekly City Manager update. In an effort to be transparent and make more information available to the general public, I will be attempting to share weekly updates of projects and activities going on with the City of Ontario. I hope you find this informative and helpful.


Budget -  The Finance Director and I spent all Tuesday afternoon running through budget inputs. We met with senior staff on Thursday to review and entertain suggestions. The conversation was very constructive but also very somber. The projections are as we forecasted last year. Even with state highway revenue increases and tax revenue, we still have a wide gap to cut with options that are all painful. The budget committee will need to make very difficult decisions.

Business Oregon - I met with Business Oregon yesterday morning. We talked about some alternatives at the airport for creating capacity for clients knocking at the door for hanger space.

Splash Pad - The temporary construction fence went up this week and public works is moving underground sprinklers right now. Grading may begin as early as next week. Design plans are near completion and ready to submit to the State for approval.

Strategic Plan - Please come to the Ontario community strategic planning meeting. It will begin at 4 PM at Ontario Middle School and wrap up at 6 PM. All the public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Be a part of envisioning the future for Ontario. If you want to let us know you are coming, use the link below. Please share this link with everyone you know. We are ready for everybody.


Community & Economic Development

Staff is reviewing 5 applications for issuing building permits. We issued 10 permits this past week. Staff is continuing to work on 9 land use applications and issues in varied stages of completion.


Youth Soccer played games on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday evenings this week. We have had several more late sign-ups this week. We will continue to take late kids until Tuesday, April 17th.

Adult coed volleyball played six games this week.

Girls Softball registration has been extended until Monday, April 16th at 5 PM without a late fee.

Access to a portion of the perimeter fencing has been acquired by relocating an irrigation ditch on field. This will allow the federally funded security fence installation to move forward this summer. Thank you to Cliff and Casey for the much needed equipment and pipe. The airport manager, engineer and two contractors had an on-site review of the fence project which is to be completed this year. It will include three cantilever gates, two swinging gates, and a seven foot security fence.
Ontario Police joined forces with Oregon State Police and Nyssa Police Department to conduct a traffic enforcement operation. The combined effort lasted 4 hours and was focusing primarily on distracted driving. The Ontario Police Officers, who were funded by a traffic safety grant, were able to issue 66 warnings, 30 citations and arrest two people for misdemeanor warrants. This is the value of discretionary traffic enforcement - you find individuals with warrants.
Fire & Rescue
On Wednesday, Chief Leighton met with Four Rivers Healthy Community staff, the organizers for a fund raiser at the station on July 4th. On Thursday Adam, Chief Kunz and Chief Leighton attended the Emergency Management Team meeting and then also a workshop for the Malheur County Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan.
The Staff did some business inspections this week and Chief Leighton did an underground inspection for the fire sprinklers at the Malheur County Fairgrounds.
On Tuesday we had a shortened training due to a fire down south. We trained on the internationally recognized Emergency Response Guidebook which addresses placarding on almost all containers. Thursday we did wildland fire practical exercises.
The Boys and Girls Club visited the fire station for a tour and training this week.
There were two vehicle fires this week. One was a sanitation truck that was fully involved and caused damage to two others parked next to it. The other fire was a car that had electrical problems and burned the passenger compartment of the car. We also had a large hay stack on fire approximately 500 tons, but the crews and the farm help did a great job and separated the pile and kept the fire to a minimum. We also responded to a fire under the 5th Avenue overpass. A homeless person had set up camp under there and his bedding caught on fire. There was no structural damage to the bridge.

Public Works

Field Service (including streets, sidewalks, water distribution, and wastewater collection)
Weekly vehicle maintenance checks on all fleet vehicles.
East Idaho Tree project was completed, 33 new trees installed including low maintenance ground cover.
Sewer cleaning continues throughout the City (80% completed).
In house safety training on fall protection and confined space, those involved in this training were staff from all areas of the utility. The training was provided by one of our regional safety specialists.
Trash and debris pickup on North Oregon and other primary travel routes.
Water plant inventories are good.
River levels slowly continue to increase with spring run-off.
Operations are good although we have encountered some issues with one of our filter influent valves.
Newly installed river inlet pump that was placed in service continues to operate well with no issues. The old pump that was pulled is being rebuilt and will be placed in inventory for future use.

Crews continue with regularly scheduled maintenance as tracked by our maintenance management system.

Prison crews spent a day clearing brush and weeds for fence area surrounding the lagoons.

Weed spraying as weather permits, due to multiple rain events this week not much spraying was accomplished.

We are currently discharging our effluent to the Snake River, normal discharge amounts are roughly 1.5 to 1.8 million gallons per day.

The Lower Lift Station that serves Snake River Correctional Institute is in need of emergency repair because of repeated failures. Council will address this on Tuesday night.

Parks and Cemetery
Security fence was installed in the splash pad construction area at Lions Park, work is slated to begin early next week.
Portable toilets have been installed at the parks and will remain in place through the year until late fall. We continue to see vandalism at Beck Park.
Irrigation pumps were turned back on and systems stand ready for irrigation to start.
Adam J. Brown
City Manager