Airport Appreciation Day- We couldn’t have had better weather for Airport Appreciation Day. It was great to see the number of people who came out to the event. We are excited to see this event return to Ontario and look forward to seeing it grow over the coming years.
Housing Incentive Program – The Housing Incentive Program is really picking up this year. We have received seven applications as of today.
Public Works Committee – On Monday the committee discussed the rate structure and recommended the conceptual plan to the council who addressed it on Tuesday.
SRCI – We met with the State on Friday and it was a very productive meeting. We have another scheduled the first week of August.
Council Meeting – Last Tuesday’s meeting was very good. We worked through a lot of issues. New land annexed into our city is wonderful, particularly new buildable lots that will be available in the near future.
Citizens Coalition Meeting – We held another public forum on Wednesday. The online presence was pretty significant.
Police - Chief Romero hosted a meeting with Director of Field Development, Kristi Kraft from the Special Olympics-Idaho to discuss future activities for Ontario and Eastern Oregon region.
Officer Elizondo conducted a crime prevention and leadership session with middle school students from the Discovery Program at OHS.
Chief Romero and Police Reserve Officer Brockett attended the Aiken Elementary Pre-K Summer School event in partnership with the Ontario Fire and Rescue. School staff and children got Police and Fire swag and looked at Police / Fire equipment.
Chief Romero has also been heavily involved in Airport Appreciation Day. His wrestling students from OHS assisted airport staff with venue set-up.
Airport - Dan Beaubien was hard at work with the preparation for the Airport Appreciation Day. The single engine air tanker planes will be able to use their new tie-downs Friday morning for the first time. Thank you Jacobs for helping making that possible as well as providing cones, barricades, a sweeper, and a water truck.
The coordinated effort and willingness of our Police, Fire, City Council, Chamber of Commerce and many others in the community has been greatly appreciated.
Fire & Rescue - Crews responded to a trash fire, a hay stack fire in Vale, a smoldering fire on E. Island Road, and a serious motor vehicle accident.
The crews also responded to numerous other burning complaints; most of them were illegal burns.
Crews swept the taxi way, provided barricades, cones, and a water truck in preparation for Airport Appreciation Day. The new concrete tie downs at the airport were also completed.
Crack-fill operation and continues in multiple locations throughout town.
Interior painting was completed for hallways and a new floor installed on the main section of the operations building; this work was all done in house.
All wastewater effluent flows are being sent to the skyline farms for irrigation use.
We switched chlorine contact chambers. The chamber that was in use will be cleaned and ready for use when needed.
Parks and Cemetery
Repairs were made to the old city shop’s irrigation system.
Website – We seamlessly launched our website last Monday morning. Our Human Resources Manager and Assistant to the City Manager, Peter Hall, re-designed and created the new website in-house, producing a quality website and saving us thousands of dollars. Also, the new website is html 5 compliant which means it adapts to all your smart devices automatically.
Downtown Businesses – We will be scheduling a listening session for business owners downtown to talk with them about their concerns.
Security Camera – We reviewed the first proposals for security cameras. We decided to do a follow up proposal to the top vendors to get a tighter budget number.
Strategic Plan Impact – City staff will now address the City Council’s strategic priorities on all staff reports. This is a system change to ensure that staff is thinking about everything we do through the City Council’s strategic plan.
Snake River Correctional Institute (SRCI) – We have a meeting set up for Friday July 19th at 2 pm with the Department of Justice to go over our first proposal for water rate changes to our contract.
Fiber – I reached out to CableOne who already responded back to get started on the fiber project at the Airport. That will have to include connection at City Hall which will be much needed.
Street Lights – Idaho Power is ready to go ahead with our street light conversion to LED. Since phase 2 of our downtown renovation is for lighting downtown, I want to talk to them about trying to coordinate that effort, so they are not replacing something that might be replaced quickly thereafter. If we can use whatever their cost is toward getting decorative lighting; that would be a good partnership.
Snake River Economic Development Alliance (SREDA) – Mayor Hill, Dan Cummings, and I attended the SREDA meeting Tuesday morning.
Recreation District – The Ontario Recreation District launched for their first full week on their own. We wish them great success and will continue to partner with them to keep Ontario moving forward. The city gave up the phone numbers to the recreation district so the general public doesn’t experience any change. You can still reach the main line at 541-881-3260 or 541-881-3261.
Dan’s working on a lot of land use applications. The planning commission will meet on Monday to discuss several.
Chief Romero led a newly created Multi-Discipline Community Grant Acquisition Team at TVCC. He reported back that after reviewing several Grants, TVCC and the group will pursue funding for TVCC’s new Athlete-Mentor Program (AMP). Other grant possibilities will continue to be reviewed and considered for potential funding of future, city-wide, and Regional Public Safety and Community Programs. Great start for the new area-wide team.
A review panel reviewed applications for the lateral police officer hires. The applicants appear to be strong candidates for the position. Testing and selection is expected to begin by Mid-July with final interviews and selection in early August.
We finalized City-O.P.D policy and protocol for marijuana retailer background checks. We anticipate the first ones coming in next week.
O.P.D staff responded to a variety of service calls during the 4th of July Holiday; fortunately, no significant events took place or were reported to O.P.D.
Chief Romero made contact with various business owners in the Downtown area regarding various concerns.
The second round of City-Wide street sweeping is complete. Additional sweeping will be done as needed for the downtown and underpass.
Flooding in one of the City residential areas appeared at 3 PM on July 4th. The irrigation company turned water down 3 times and finally diverted a bunch to the north away from the issue.
Staff supported the construction of new tie downs at the airport. The holes are excavated and concrete will be poured next Monday.
Crack fill operation begins and continues throughout the summer.
River levels have started to fall; this is directly related to dam regulation on the Snake.
Parks and Cemetery
Repairs were made to the old city shops irrigation system for the new tenant.
Boys & Girls Club
We are losing some really great people in our community in the Sorenson Family (Matt and Olivia). They announced this week that they are taking advantage of a career opportunity and moving on, but they are really great examples of the difference people can make in a community. We aren’t just losing an executive director for the Boys and Girls Club, but a marketing and foundation manager for the hospital, soccer coaches, a College Board member, and much more. They have truly made a difference in this community. I’m happy for them and a little sad for us, but they have left our community better than they found it.
Disc Golf Tournament
The disc golf course design tournament took place on Saturday at Beck Park.
We received another Housing Incentive Program application this week from someone wanting to take advantage of the incentive.
I spent a lot of my first half of the week working on grant writing. The second part of the week got a little busier with managing the splash park project. I’ve received a lot of community letters of support.
We put together a budget for the Splash Park. I met with two recreation district board members on Friday at the park and went over the plan with them. The operation cost for the month of June will be no more than $7,000. I’m asking that the council pick up that cost on Tuesday to make a smooth transition with the Recreation district. We had estimated $9,000 but JACOBS dialed in on the chemical numbers to bring it down to $7,000. Our grand opening is on May 30, 2019.
The runway closure scheduled for last Wednesday was postponed. The closure will allow the State to complete their crack seal program at the airport.
A local Ontario Cub Scout group, through the Just Serve organization, volunteered time cleaning the dirt runway and painting barriers.
All parts of the wheel lines are now at the airport awaiting assembly. The mover engines have both been started and run.
The tree project on East Idaho continues. Tree wells for the iron gates and planting sites were formed and are ready for concrete.
Staff is also focused on landscaping activities, which are nearly complete, at the Ontario Splash Park. Staff worked on excavating a trench at the police gun range to provide power to the trailer on location.
We are meeting next week to go over the SRCI water contract.
Odor issues at the wastewater plant are diminishing, we have increased pond aeration and expect treatment to improve and smells to abate soon.
Parks and Cemetery
The City Engineer is overseeing work on the East Idaho Tree Project, Ontario Splash Park, South Oregon Project, SRCI water/wastewater contracts, Transportation Growth Management Plan, Water Master Plan, and Treasure Valley Connector Project. There is a lot going on!
Fire & Rescue
The Snake River Fire Chiefs met in Fruitland this week and finalized the agreements for this summer with the BLM and Nation Forests.
The firefighters annual pancake breakfast was well attended and no one left hungry. This Saturday, our staff joined firefighters from all over the nation filling boots for MDA.
Officer Cutler and Brockett and Chief Cooper worked together with the manager of Starbucks and participated in the 2nd annual Coffee with a Cop program on Monday.
Patrol has been very busy with City operations. From Monday to Thursday evening, 139 cases have been generated.
Chief Cooper met with representatives from a company that provides an investigative tool in a variety of ways which include: tracking capabilities, incarceration notifications, vehicle plate identification, etc. The Chief is working with the representatives on a cost differential from our current tool. This is a great example of employees constantly living out our value of efficiency.
Community & Economic Development
We have reviewed building permit applications over the past two weeks. We issued 17 permits. We have also been processing six land use actions over the past few weeks. We held public hearings in front of the planning commission on two that will be in front of the City Council for public hearings on Tuesday.
We are keeping very busy with all of the building/development applications and construction occurring. The City took in over $60,000 in permit fees last month alone.
Staff has a little left on the budget to polish up prior to approval consideration on May 21.
Finalizing Splash Park details has been the story of the week. We are planning the grand opening for May 30. This will include a DJ, grilled hot dogs from the Fire Department, and dry ice root beer from me.
A lot of progress was made on landscaping and the Argus interviewed Andrea Bonadiman about the donor wall she is painting at the splash park.
I spent a lot of hours working on the RTP grant for the Treasure Valley Connector Trail. I got out the State Agency Reviews, which have to go out in time for them to review and send a response back. I have been working on the narrative portions of the grant and acquiring more letters of support.
A great season of youth soccer is complete. We had 740 kids, 70 teams, and 313 games played in the last week. As one season ends, another begins as 10 teams with 113 girls are gearing up for softball.
Information for NFL flag football, youth track meet, Gridiron Dreams, Challenger Soccer Camp, and tennis lessons has gone out to all the local schools.
There will be a runway closure at the airport next Wednesday from 7:30 AM until 7:30 PM to crack seal. This will be communicated to pilots.
A second planning meeting for the Ontario Airport Appreciation Day took place on Wednesday.
The purchase price for the second wheel line needed to complete the irrigation of the grass runway was agreed upon and will be picked up soon.
The tree project on East Idaho continues. We will plant the trees this fall after grates have arrived. We ordered enough grates on this order to get us through next year's project. Staff is also focused on landscaping activities at the Ontario Splash Park.
Water- Snake River flows are gradually increasing. This will increase as snow melt continues in the mountains.
Wastewater- Odor issues at the wastewater plant are diminishing. We have increased pond aeration and expect treatment to improve and smells to abate soon.
Parks and Cemetery- Staff is focused on getting the cemeteries ready for Memorial Day. This is the biggest day of the year for our cemeteries and we want them to be immaculate.
Fire & Rescue
This week, staff responded to a couple small grass fires and a fire at Beck-Kiwanis park pond started by fireworks. The rural tender and a crew responded to a mutual aid call for a fully involved structure fire north of Payette.
The exhaust system installation is nearly complete. They got a lot done this week.
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