We held a joint planning commission meeting with Malheur County last night to approve a parcel of land joining the Urban Growth Area (UGA). They have already filed for an application to be annexed into the city since they had to connect to our sewer line when their septic field failed.
I got home at midnight from my conference and left at 5:30 am that morning for Bend to make a 20 minute pitch for the Treasure Valley Connector Trail grant. I received very nice comments on the project and the presentation and the city’s overall trail plan. They seemed genuinely excited for Ontario. I should know one way or the other in the next two weeks.
I met with a company who does lighting replacement projects that have a performance contract. How it works is they upgrade our lighting on our properties and the savings pays for the new lights for a certain number of years after which you then get the savings once it’s paid off.
We are working through our Wayfinding Project bids and plan to award a bid soon. We are excited to begin this process!
Chief Romero attended a “STOP” (Statistical Transparency of Policing) video conference meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss this upcoming, unfunded mandate, which is required by Oregon Law (HB2355); the law requires all law enforcement agencies in Oregon to collect data regarding officer-initiated traffic and pedestrian stops by 2020. Its purpose is to gauge any likely hood of “Racial profiling” by a specific race of officers. OPD is currently working with the Criminal Justice Commission to establish a functioning platform for this state mandate.
Chief Romero and Lt. Cooper attended a debriefing at ODOT regarding the recent water treatment plant clean-up project. Both ODOT and Jacobs expressed their gratitude for all the positive collaboration and city support for their project. The discussion yielded new safety ideas for the work crews, new short-term strategies, and long-term strategies for insuring this type of infrastructure threat and hazards do not recur.
Chief Romero facilitated an employee wellness training session for OPD staff, which also offered a free $5,000.00 Life Insurance benefit for all OPD public safety officers.
OPD made an arrest of a male adult who is a convicted felon and suspected of having ties to the “Arian Brotherhood” gang in California. The arrestee was observed discarding a loaded handgun in the street and fled from officers. After a brief foot chase the male was captured without incident. He may be involved in other suspected felony crimes.
Chief Romero and I separately had the opportunity to visit with the Four Rivers Preparatory School Lego Robotics Club for a question and answer forum. They grilled us with great questions on “How to improve Ontario”.
OPD received information from Nyssa PD, regarding a wanted felony female suspect that had been involved in a shooting in the City of Nyssa. OPD located the female in the Ontario city limits and took her into custody without incident, with the assistance of OSP personnel.
Fire and Rescue
There was a public meeting attended by public safety personnel, ODOT, and others discussing putting in a round-about at Cairo junction. ODOT has been approving more roundabouts across the state which has dramatically reduced fatalities even in high traffic areas. If there is going to be an accident, the design of a roundabout results in a side by side collision as opposed to a very deadly T-bone collision. Cairo junction is one of the most dangerous intersections in Eastern Oregon, which is why ODOT is focusing on a redesign.
Staff members tested three firefighters for their practical portions of Fire fighter 1 and Firefighter 2 certifications. The staff is also continuing to do smoke detector installations on our drill night.
10/11 The crew responded to a mutual aid fire in Payette County for many hours on a large hay stack fire. The crew rescued a wedding ring, and possibly more, from a storm drain on SW. 4th Avenue. Crews also responded to a couple false alarms due to system malfunctions.
10/13 The crew responded to a propane leak on SW. 5th Avenue.
10/15 Staff members responded to a car fire at SW. 4th Avenue and Highway 201.
10/16 The crew responded to a cooking fire on NW. 6th Street. and a chimney fire on NW. 5th Street.
Crack sealing has been completed for this year’s budget. The new machine made our crews a lot more efficient.
The super structure for the new shelter was erected in Lions Park. Concrete work will follow and then the roof will be installed.
Street sweeping has begun for the entire town based on our schedule.
Catch basin cleaning started and will be going through the fall.
Jar testing continues to optimize water quality, winterization is underway, and some additional work was done at the north river property after last week’s major cleanup effort.
Parks and Cemetery
There were two burials this week at Evergreen Cemetery.
Leaf mulching at the parks has also begun, in weekly inspections staff are keeping well ahead of leaf drop.
Staff will begin winterizing underground irrigations systems later this month as temperatures cool.
We have had several meetings about our SRCI contract negotiations. We have an appointment with the state to give them our new proposal.
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.