Kids are back in school, buses are rolling and things are cooling off. We are making a lot of progress on a lot of projects.
The newly painted fire hydrants look awesome! It was a really cool project that Councilor Rodriguez organized. We tried to hit the thoroughfare’s first. Thanks to Kinney and Keele True Value for supplying brushes and paint buckets. It was fun and everyone had a good time. We have another one scheduled for September 14. Councilors Capron and Palomo were able to make it too. I had a great time painting with the Fire Chief.
One thing we added to the parks master plan in 2018 was a water trail on the Malheur River. This is a very inexpensive recreation amenity that would attract a lot of people to the community. Basically, a river trail is a place where you can drop in a kayak, canoe, paddle board, or row boat and float down the river and then a place to get out. So you only need two spots and the river is the trail.
Our farm land west of the waste water plant has a very natural trail head. It’s a corner right off Malheur drive the farmer does not use. We are working with a community partner to use part of their property as the water trail end. This would give people approximately a three mile water trail which the County could extend and add a dock upstream in the future if they wished.
Employer Incentive Fund
We received notification today that the 25% PERS match will be made available on September 3rd for employers with an obligation greater than 200% of payroll. Our obligation is over 200%.
Staff are bringing back the Council’s strategic plan to formalize. The leadership team has been refining it into actionable items and it will now be ready for Council to revise and approve.
We researched and ordered planters this week. This includes more ground planters and also hanging planters. The benches have already been received. We plan to begin installation soon.
Public Works Committee
The committee discussed a traffic issue that our transportation engineer will be working on. Also, they recommended that the agreement with SRCI only be extended if we have tentative agreements about the progress we have made to date.
Housing Boom! (Relatively speaking)
The Business Loan Fund Committee reviewed applications for the Housing Incentive Program. They were expecting to review one, but a second one came before the meeting, which is very exciting. This is the most new development we have seen in at least 4 years. New housing is one of the keys for the city’s long-term resiliency.
The committee also discussed retaining a portion of the business loan fund for business grants and also whether the City should reduce the city incentive because of the Border Board Incentive. Ultimately that will be a Council decision.
Chief Romero attended a Lions Club luncheon for an Elder Abuse Prevention Seminar. Chief Romero also attended and was the guest presenter at the Kiwanis Club. The Chief conducted a presentation on “Volunteerism” and “Community Outreach” methods.
Chief Romero also attended a meeting at the Malheur County Health Department to discuss future, joint, public safety/health outreach for vulnerable populations within city of Ontario.
Chief Romero facilitated an OPD communications system analysis with an independent communications expert who provided the analysis at no cost. The analyst is a retired communications technician from Chief Romero’s last employer.
Fire & Rescue
The Chief did 4 different Knox box install responses and two inspections. This week’s training was on water rescue drills at Beck/Kiwanis Park and we did medical emergencies with TVP.
Staff responded to a fatal plane crash the passenger in the rear seat did survive with multiple fractures and other injuries. They also responded to a dumpster fire and a construction site fire.
It has been a sad week this week in the aftermath of losing one of our pilots and badly injuring another. There are many questions as the investigation continues in and around the airport.
The FAA grant application for over $93,000 was sent this week to the Seattle office. This money is for a new taxiway and hold apron design at the airport.
After meeting with Treasure Valley Community College it was learned that the aviation class is full and they are starting a waiting list for this fall.
Plans are underway to repair the airport security fence at the south end of the field that was damaged due to a non-fatal airplane crash last month.
On an upbeat note, we received word that the lifting and moving of the USAF F-4 Phantom jet for its re-positioning to the entryway of the airport will be paid in full by a local company.
Cross walk painting is off to a good start and will last the next few weeks
We engaged in power conservation during peak electrical demand times; we shut of large users of electricity for short periods to provide more power back to the grid. The program is managed by Idaho Power and we receive rebates for participation.
Aerator repairs were on-going all week; this includes taking our work barge out onto the lagoons and replacing or repairing worn parts. We are focusing on this activity while the weather is warm.
Parks and Cemetery
Beck Park had a power transformer fail and we were not able to water for a number of days until the electrical service was restored and pumping could continue. If you see some yellow grass at Beck Park this is the most likely reason.
Engineering staff will be looking at potential fixes to the damaged bridge at Beck Kiwanis Park.
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.