Budget Committee – I really appreciated the amount of discussion and the willingness to engage in discussion during the budget committee. It’s a good function of teamwork when the team is willing to have healthy disagreements. At the end of the day, I am going to follow Council’s direction. They provide the direction for the city. The budget committee passed a budget to the city council, which is scheduled to be heard and approved in April.
Groundbreaking – We had a great groundbreaking for the Treasure Valley Connector Trail. Good attendance and a great step in a new direction!
COVID-19 – Senior staff spent many hours establishing new protocols for cleaning, service delivery, and protecting customers and employees. We are making all meetings possible by conference call. We are encouraging everyone to utilize our online bill pay, mail pay, or drop box payments. The fewer interactions we can have the more we can slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. We are following the lead of our County Health Department and Emergency Management and everyone should be using the federal website for all the most current information on COVID-19 at www.coronavirus.gov.
9-1-1 User Board Meeting – The Board met to give the projections for the coming fiscal year.
TSP – We had a catch-up meeting on the Transportation System Plan. Jacobs is putting together the technical advisory group and the stakeholder group.
Ameresco – Our Energy Savings Performance Contracting Company did another site visit. They are excited at the opportunities they see to save money for the city.
Arsenic Call – We had a conference call with a company that claims to have a new technology for removing arsenic. We are going to get some more information. We will pursue it from there.
Joint SEACT NEACT Meeting – Dan Cummings and I attended a joint meeting of the SEACT and NEACT in John Day on Tuesday. We reviewed the Statewide Transportation Improvement Plan (STIP) for our region.
Housing Projects – The deadline for the affordable housing programs is coming up fast and there are a lot of applications going in from Ontario. We spent time working with developers on their projects this week.
Community Development has been very busy with land actions. Dan held 3 back to back PDACs on Wednesday.
Mar 10th and 12th-Chief Romero and Assistant U.S. Attorney Marco Boccato conducted a leadership seminar for middle school and high school aged youth at the Ontario Boys and Girls Club and OHS. Interaction with the local youth was positive and inspirational for all that attended and taught.
Mar 11th-Chief Romero attended the 911 user meeting. Discussed were issues with a damaged server located at the Malheur County 911 center that has led to an inability to obtain historical information for locations or an ability to quickly track what address a call is coming from. The County Sheriff Office is taking corrective measures to minimize the time these conditions exist.
Mar 11th-Chief Romero met with representatives from Three Rivers Crime Stoppers who solicited Chief Romero’s assistance with the re-launching of their crime prevention initiative. The Chief has agreed to serve as an informal consultant for the program. Information will be pushed out by OPD.
March 11th-Chief Romero submitted a $100K grant request to the USDOJ COPS Office for a crime prevention / reduction initiative that he has co-developed with key community partners. If funded, the program will be known as “Shield of Dreams” which includes youth outreach, applied learning workshops for police officers, and community partners alike.
This past weekend OPD’s reporting system experienced a microwave failure, which impacted OPD reporting capabilities for a ½ day. Issue triggered a response from our IT supervisor in order to get issues corrected.
March 8th-OPD staff solved a theft case of a very expensive saddle that was subsequently located, and the suspect is facing prosecution.
This week CEO’s focus was on derelict structures and abandoned vehicles. Numerous violations were identified citywide with fines being issued. CEO’s marked several trailers that are parked on public roadways and will take enforcement action if violations are not corrected.
Weekly maintenance checks on lift stations and sewer cleaning. 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 previous weeks. We have approximately 50% of the lines cleared and will be working on this task as time allows through the coming month.
The tree project continues on East Idaho Avenue. Weed barrier cloth has been installed, irrigations lines laid and tested, and a rock layer added. Tree wells were formed and poured. All tree wells have been excavated and are ready for planting later this month.
Street sweeping on primary and secondary routes was started. Graffiti was removed on the near the underpass on East Idaho Avenue. It has been just a week since we completed this task. Photos were taken and will be shared with the Police department for potential action.
Staff continued examination of sidewalks in the downtown core area to determine potential problems with the downtown project. Ground penetrating radar was used to determine trouble spots
Groundbreaking for the new TVCC trail was a great kick off for a great project.
Water inventories are at target level. Normal system demands for this time of the year. River levels are stable and river water quality is very good for this time of the year.
Repair work continues for one of our pumping systems at the water plant. The pump base was completely rebuilt. The pump will be reinstalled shortly.
We have noted an issue with pumping raw water from the river, we began trouble shooting to identify the issue, this continues and is a work in progress
System is operating well. One of the chlorine contact chambers was taken off line and the redundant one put on line. The off-line chamber was cleaned and ready to be placed into service. Weekly inspections of the equipment and buildings including maintenance and trouble shooting. NPDES permit sampling continues as per DEQ requirements. Tier I samples are be collected as well as required copper samples.
Parks and Cemetery
Normal winter operations associated with Parks and Cemetery upkeep and maintenance. Newly refurbished picnic tables are being installed throughout the park system. Zero funerals this week at Evergreen Cemetery.
A new carpet square was installed in the city council chambers after one area was badly stain by some unknown spilled substance. A real advantage to the new carpet system we installed 2 years ago.
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.