Community & Economic Development
Staff is keeping extremely busy again dealing with many phone calls and walk-ins from the general public. Staff members continue to scan the old planning records from the storage units to free up space as well as have a permanent archive record of the paper data which will be destroyed after ensuring that the digital data is backed up. At this point, we are at about 2/3rds done with the planning files and then we will start the Building Department records.
Staff is reviewing 10 building applications this week and has issued 8 building permits this past week. Staff held two PDAC’s this week for new developments.
The Planning Department is keeping extremely busy with finishing up the planning action from last year and have already received 8 land use action this year.
Flood Plain Administration
Dan is continuing to work on amending Ontario Flood Plain Code (10A-47) to meet the new Oregon Model Code and federal regulations (FEMA) and will bring the changes to the Planning Commission and Council soon.
Feb 13th-Chief Romero coordinated and developed the “Shield of Dreams” Police-Youth engagement initiative Steering Committee, which is designed to enhance county-wide and regional, law enforcement and community efforts in reducing juvenile delinquency and recidivism rates, while improving police-youth relations. Funding is being sought through the U.S. Department of Justice COPS Office.
Feb 13th-Chief Romero conducted an exit interview, with now former officer Skylar Johnson. Officer Johnson has taken new employment with OSP and was genuinely thankful for all that was provided to him during his employment with the City of Ontario. OPD now dips back down to 23 full time, sworn, police officers.
Feb 14th-Chief Romero met with Malheur Enterprise Chief Editor Les Zaitz who requested an interview with the chief regarding community concerns, police response and Chief Romero’s early experiences with the Ontario Police Department and community. No known article to be published at this time.
Weekly-IT Manager Sheri Smith and IT specialist Kenneth Monson began the task of installing 12 new agency computers to replace the aging fleet of OPD computers. Smith reports that all OPD officers and code enforcement officers are now equipped with portable tablets as well.
This week, OPD officers made an arrest of two suspects who are suspected of damaging property by shooting out car windows with a BB-Gun. These suspects are suspected in numerous cases throughout Ontario and Nyssa. Charges are being sought against both for multiple counts of Criminal Mischief.
Feb 10th- OPD conducted directed traffic enforcement efforts on SW 4th Avenue from the belt line to Dorian Drive as a result of complaints of speeding vehicles in the area.
Feb 11th- OPD engaged in a short vehicle pursuit of an auto theft suspect who eventually evaded OPD but was captured in Idaho by Idaho law enforcement after he crashed and “rolled” the vehicle he was driving. The 19-year-old suspect was lucky to walk away with his life after the crash.
Our Code Enforcement Officers stayed quite busy through the continued training of our newer officer, who initiated his first property abatement action this week and focused on parking enforcement. Officer Reyna has begun to settle in well and is showing great promise and energy for improving our community.
Fire & Rescue
2/12- Chief attended 3 PDACs for future projects. 2/13- The Malheur County Emergency Management Team and Local LEPC had some good material presented to the largest crowd of businesses and emergency responders we’ve seen at these meetings. Chief attended with a guest rider the Traffic safety meeting.
Inspections were done at St Al’s and the Quality Inn motel, both involving fire alarm systems.
2/11- The staff was at the burn house again doing Rapid Incident Team (RIT) and ladder evolutions. 2/13- A few members did Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drills.
The staff had a rider from Vale High School that working on his Senior project. He spent time with the staff and saw how exciting the Chief’s days full of meetings can be. A car seat clinic was also hosted at the fire station by Sheri Smith and some fire staff.
Rescue 1 responded to a call on Manor Way to assist OPD gain access to the building. Rescue 1 responded to a carbon monoxide problem in a home at 196 SW 6th Avenue.
Sewer line trenching and laying of pipe is complete. Three stub outs are put in place for future use and manhole covers are set to grade. Final surface grading, asphalt, curb repair and cleanup are next.
A series of storm water lines at TVCC are being jet rodded to clear the silt from the summer irrigation season. This a continuation from last week. We have approximately 40% of the lines cleared and will be working on this task as time allows through the coming month.
A new meter was installed at one of our industrial water users. Water service was shut off and a new meter and setter assembly were installed.
Signs that did not meet reflectivity standards have all been replaced with new signs.
The tree project continues on East Idaho Avenue. Trees, stumps, and ground cover have been removed. The next phase will include filter fabric and irrigation systems. The target for planting is mid-March to early April.
The boil water advisory on 4 services at TVCC was lifted on Sunday, February 8. Bacteriological testing indicated negative results for E Coli.
Additional light poles were installed at the old city shop site. Electricity and lights will be added in the very near future. Fencing was erected at the site of the homeless shelter.
Weekly maintenance checks on lift stations and sewer cleaning were performed.
The water plant is operating well with inventories at target level. System demands for this time of the year are normal. River levels are stable and river water quality is very good for this time of the year.
Well 15 was taken offline and will be videoed. It may have to be taken offline and rehabbed. This well provided 2.5 million gallons a day when well systems are being used so it is imperative this be addressed and repaired as soon as practical.
A newly hired Operator began for our water and wastewater system, he will be training at the water plant. He will shadow operations staff and learn to operate the system.
Water booster pump 3 at westside reservoir was taken offline due to bearing noise. This pump will be pulled and rebuilt. Pump 4 will be pulled and rebuilt after 3 comes back online.
Additional sampling was completed as per permit requirements.
The wastewater system is operating well. Weekly inspections of the equipment and buildings including maintenance and trouble shooting took place. NPDES permit sampling continues as per DEQ requirements. Tier I samples are collected as well as required copper samples.
Parks and Cemetery
Normal winter operations associated with Parks and Cemetery upkeep and maintenance are taking place. We are working with the new surveillance camera system installer to help in the installation process.
Trees at Evergreen Park are being pruned this week
Staff will be inspecting and replacing swing set bolts throughout parks system. This is done annually and is a task set up on a computerized maintenance system.
New trash cans are being installed at the newest shelter at Lions Park.
The hot water tank at city hall continues to have issues. The thermostat was replaced last week, and we are going to replace the heating elements this week.
Water Master Plan work continues along with preparation for budget meetings.
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.