I have been amazed how much the community comes together in times like these. I’m fortunate to be able to see a lot of this community level collaboration and it is very gratifying.
COVID-19 - The state has given us another outlet for enforcement of mandated business closures. OSHA would like to hear from informants directly, rather than through other people. You can file a complaint from this website.
The EIDL program and PPP programs from the CARES Act have been pushed out but the federal agencies are writing the rules for it on the fly, so it’s an everchanging program. Our federal legislators told us there are only 4 banks administering the EIDL program in the state. There will be a huge demand for that but a lot of the banks either don’t want to deal with it or don’t know how.
We filmed and produced a Public Service Announcement for the CDC’s recommendations with Freddy and the Fire Chief. I shot it on Monday and Peter put it together. We will keep cranking them out each week. We can get a good message out and have a little fun with it.
We held our City incident command meeting on Tuesday and talked through some of the topics shared by the mayor at the council meeting. We also participated in the County emergency management meeting.
Tater Tots Trail – We are moving forward with an appraiser for the Walmart riverfront property easement for the trail.
Treasure Valley Connector Trail – The trail is coming along awesome. I drive by it daily to see the progress.
Wayfinding – I was able to re-connect with our wayfinding folks. I think the Idahoans had to adjust to working from home much more suddenly, so we went offline for a little bit. I am excited to see the work they have been doing. They have taken everyone’s comments into consideration from the council and public. They have moved a mountain! (i.e. turned the mountain to reflect the view from Ontario) This design wasn’t my first choice, but they won me over with the new look. One full color and one mono color.
Odor Complaint to DEQ – We have had some odor issues at the wastewater plant. Someone made a complaint to DEQ. They contacted public works and Cliff followed up with them. We have to get it dredged. I think there will be little more to do until that is done.
The warm weather has everything growing at the airport. Spot spraying of weeds to keep them out of unwanted areas is a continual process.
The irrigation wheel lines and mainline were checked out this week and the well pump was started for the first time this year. I’m happy to say all four wheel line sets were successful and the grass runway received it’s first watering.
Things are moving forward with the FAA in terms of putting our new taxiway and hold apron projects back on track for this year. With the many phone calls, emails and document sharing taking place it’s hopeful that we will be able to go to bid on this project within the next two weeks.
Fire & Rescue
Our EMS training this month was on the Lucas tool, which is a valuable tool to be used for compressions during CPR on cardiac arrest patients.
This week we tested all the hoses in the department. This includes hoses on the apparatus and spare hoses in the stations.
Most of our calls this week were burning complaints and illegal burns. We also had a couple false alarms. Rescue 1 did respond to a fire inside a residence that was a radio that shorted out in a charger base and caught on fire.
This week a great deal of Chief Romero’s time was spent on working with city officials, county, state, and federal partners in staying abreast of COVID-19 threats and responses. Chief Romero submitted a request for protective gear products through AXON, a private corporation. If awarded, OPD will receive in-kind donations for a variety of safety and hygiene products.
Chief Romero submitted various reports to the County Emergency Operations Coordinator regarding the status of law enforcement personnel at OPD that are deployed in the filed and subject to COVID 19 exposure.
April 5th- OPD personnel (Sgt. Swank) assisted the Oregon State Police with investigating an individual who was involved in a multi-state property crime spree. OPD’s assist resulted in the suspects arrest.
April 5th- OPD personnel arrested a suspect for domestic violence. The suspect asserted he possibly has COVID-19 to avoid incarceration. Staying true to their duty the officers followed best practices for ensuring everyone’s health and had the arrestee medically evaluated. The suspect was medically cleared and taken to jail.
April 9th- Chief Romero patrolled throughout the city looking to identify businesses and individuals not adhering to the social distancing requirements. Chief is glad to report that nothing of great concern presented itself.
April 10th- OPD personnel arrested a suspect for felony warrants after a brief foot pursuit. The suspect asserted he possibly has COVID-19 to avoid incarceration. Staying true to their duty the officers followed best practices for ensuring everyone’s health and had the arrestee medically evaluated. The suspect was medically cleared and taken to jail.
Code enforcement remained active in monitoring any potential COVID-19 mandates throughout the business community. No violations were identified during their patrols. Code enforcement delivered several informative warning letters to businesses that were reported to have engaged in unauthorized activity (hair salon, insurance company, marijuana retailer, and general commodity business). No actual violations were observed by code enforcement.
Apr 8th- Code enforcement investigated and cited an individual at 704 N Oregon for theft of public utilities and vandalism to a public utility water line. This was an individual that had previously been suspected but was finally caught. Great investigation by CEO Reyna.
We have changed schedules for all crews in response to COVID-19. As much work as possible is being done remotely and other operations are being modified to limit exposure to those that must be in the field. Weekly checks on staff and operations related to the pandemic are in place.
The fire hydrant on West Idaho Avenue was completed. Modifications were made to the gate at the homeless shelter. We started the excavation for the playground equipment at Lion’s Park. This will be a work in progress, but a welcome addition to the community and our parks system.
Sign maintenance was completed throughout town as needed. Lift station and building inspections took place. Vehicle inspections of our rolling stocks as per our maintenance schedules direct took place. Sewer checks and cleaning were completed as needed throughout the community.
We met with Cascade Gas on the SE 2nd Street project for their completion. The downtown and underpass areas were swept Friday morning. Water system maintenance took place as needed to repair leaks and broken boxes.
The water treatment plant is running well after recent modifications to SCADA programing. Water inventories are at target levels. System demands are normal for this time of the year. ACS will install a new filter influent valve controller. Jar tests took place to verify chemical feed rates to both old plant and WesTec. We took inventory of plumbing supplies. Clean up and preparation took place for backwash valve installation and the filter/pump gallery for paint.
Weekly inspections of the equipment and buildings including maintenance and trouble shooting took place. NPDES permit sampling continues as per DEQ requirements. The west chlorine contact chamber was cleaned. The skyline booster pump was installed. The shop was cleaned, reorganized, and inventoried. The lagoon boat was prepared for operation, inspection, and maintenance of aerators.
Parks and Cemeteries
Downtown flowerpots were watered, and trash receptacles were emptied throughout town. Evergreen cemetery had one funeral. Irrigation systems in both parks and cemeteries has begun. Spring cleanup at the cemeteries began this week and will continue.
Work continues for the Water Master Plan, South Oregon Street project, and NPDES work on pH adjustment system at wastewater.
Each week, City Manager Adam Brown brings you up to date on the comings and goings of the City of Ontario in The Weekend Update.