Lots of night meetings again this week. Airport Committee on Monday, Council Meeting on Tuesday, Regional Equity in Recovery Team on Wednesday, and Chief’s Advisory Committee on Thursday.
COVID-19 – Our county numbers have been improving, but as you can see, our national numbers are showing a resurgence of the virus and the fear is that, compounded with the flu, it is even more lethal.
The County is focused on increasing testing capacity so that they can keep our positive rate down.
Coronavirus Relief Funds – We are getting money spent.
North-South Trail – Two budgets ago we had money for planning the North-South trail in the budget, but we needed that money to complete the Treasure Valley Connector Trail. I submitted a letter of interest, a short application, for the 2021 Oregon Community Paths Grant Program. If we get approved to move on in the application, I can get Merchant McIntyre to help with the grant writing.
Tech Support – Peter finished the RFP for the tech support so that will go out to bid soon. To refresh your memory, that was budgeted to provide backup support for our in-house tech specialist.
Leadership Team - We had some good, but tough conversations about diversity and equity in our leadership team meeting this week. We don’t always agree, and it can be uncomfortable, but we need to have those discussions.
Energy Study – We got our first look at the energy savings study and potential savings. We will be going over that in the coming weeks and it will eventually come to the council for decision making.
Economic Development – Dan has been working on an exciting prospect. We also had a great PDAC with a potential new business.
Homelessness Shelter Committee – I have a meeting set up for next week with our faith based and business community to discuss how they can support the shelter operations. I’ve been working with Barb throughout the week on the site relocation plans.
Border Board Airport Grant – It is expected that the border board will meet on Monday to review the airport planning grant proposal. Keep your fingers crossed that we will receive the funding.
Construction on the taxi lane and hold apron is continuing in this nice weather. Dan showed the taxiway construction to a gentleman who is very interested in building hangars.
We are still waiting on replacement parts for the rotating beacon as it remains out of service.
Time is devoted each day to the construction phase of the Airport, working with engineers, electricians, and construction workers. Thursday was interesting as we looked for underground power lines for the FAA automated service observation system and the Boise weather station. We were successful.
We also held a PDAC meeting for the Experimental Aircraft Association construction as they are getting their building ready for TVCC’s flight school use.
Applications for the Airport Manager continue to come in. It looks like we have a very good pool.
This past week OPD recertified all four of OPD’s firearms instructors. OPD continues to focus on the development of personnel and tactical best practices.
Oct 27th-Chief Romero participated in an online Affordable Housing Seminar hosted by Northwest Housing Alternatives. Chief Romero assessed the impact the future population growth in Ontario may have on public safety services.
Oct 28th- Chief Romero was interviewed by the Malheur Enterprise (ME) to discuss crime statistics and trends in Ontario. Chief Romero shared some of his crime reduction strategies and anticipates an article.
Oct 28th- Chief Romero participated in an online Malheur County Community Mental health, Local Alcohol and Drug and development Disabilities Advisory Committee meeting. Strategies and updates were presented and discussed for responding to the mental health and drug addiction problems in the region.
Oct 29th- Chief Romero launched the Chief’s Advisory Council. The first session was attended by the (11) member council and some distinguished guest. The Chief shared that the group is diverse, professional and is focused on assisting him with a comprehensive solution-seeking process that will benefit the community and OPD well into the future.
OPD participated in a multi-agency narcotics enforcement initiative that resulted in an arrest of an Ontario area resident, seizure of a large amount of contraband, and a weapon. The case remains active and the Chief anticipates a joint Press Release will be shared with the public soon.
Oct 24th- OPD responded to a Domestic Violence call made by a minor. OPD contacted all parties involved and attempted to arrest the male suspect. The suspect fled on foot from officers but was captured after a brief foot pursuit and struggle.
Oct 27th-OPD responded to a traffic Hazard on SW 4th Ave near 12th Street. OPD located several Rail-Road ties in the roadway and removed the ties safely from the roadway.
Oct 30th- OPD participated in an outdoor “Trunk or Treat” event at the Four Rivers Cultural Center. The event was hosted by the Ontario Boys and Girls Club and utilized current COVID protocol and safety measures.
This week OPD code enforcement responded to a dog bite incident, numerous traffic complaints and ordinance violations.
Code enforcement officers continued to work with Chief Romero on a proposed dog kennel services RFP.
Code enforcement conducted follow up this week and was able to close 85 cases on Thursday 10/29. Code Enforcement still has a hefty follow up of over 90 cases.
Police was contacted last night regarding someone trespassing/living in a motorhome and stealing water from Beer Valley Brewing. Code Enforcement with the assistance of Patrol attempted contact today at the motorhome with no success. Code Enforcement sent out an abatement notice with the extensive violations at 932 SE 12th Avenue. Property owners will have 10 days to comply.
Code Enforcement conducted follow up on a property that previously was in disrepair and had multiple violations; location is now cleaned up and seeing progress. This shows the effectiveness of the Civil Penalty Process and current abatement process, to help make Ontario shine.
Thursday, 10/29, Code Enforcement towed 3 vehicles from the NW side of town that had previously been tagged with a (72) hour tow notice.
The following pictures are of a property that was abated by Code Enforcement, which led to redevelopment.
Street sweeping is on-going for the next few weeks. Jacobs will be coordinating with Ontario Sanitary Services to address fall lawn and leaf clean up needs as the transfer station is currently out of service. Crews spend time this week flushing end of line fire hydrants. More road repair work was completed on the Skyline Farm access road.
Jacobs is working with ACS to identify why there are repeated communication failures throughout the SCADA system. Jacobs staff is scheduled to prep the new location for the homeless shelter “Tiny Homes”.
River Pump #1 is still out of service, Priest Electric is performing repairs. A debris basket is being fabricated and installed on a temporary pump in case it is needed to support River Pump #2. Crews will be cleaning Recovery Bed #3.
The bio-solids removal contractor has begun dewatering biosolids from Lagoon #1. It’s a fascinating process. I took a drive to see what it looked like and it’s pretty amazing.
Because the biological balance in Lagoon #1 has been upset with the dewatering work, odors are becoming more noticeable. This condition can be expected to exist until the dewatering project is complete.
Staff collected monthly arsenic samples as requires by ODEQ.
Ozone air cleaners have been installed on all the City Hall HVAC systems. These ozone systems will provide a disinfecting effect for the air as it moves through the HVAC system and out into the habitable spaces.
The Community Development building is scheduled to be the next city owned building to the ozone system installed in the HVAC system.
Parks and Cemeteries
Winterizing of sprinkler systems is ongoing. Grass trimming at Evergreen Cemetery and Westside Cemetery is complete. The foundation for the columbarium at Evergreen Cemetery has been poured.
Staff have been working to remove the hanging plant baskets from the downtown light poles.
A pigeon exterminator has been contacted to present a solution for city buildings that are being challenged by the birds. It’s been a problem downtown too, so we will see if there is mutual application.
Jacobs is supporting the City with researching how herbicides are handled at the airport. Upgrades to the fiber communications systems at the airport are being planned.
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.