October 29, 2021
This week has been a merry go round! Fast paced and lots of stuff going on. Great City Council meeting on Tuesday night. I’m trying to keep things in the air with all of the departments, particularly those without leadership right now. Thanks to the city council and our department heads we are keeping things going. I appreciate their patience while we all try to wear a lot of hats.
Recruitments are extremely promising. I’m looking at the new department heads as a reset for our staff team. I am feeling more confident that we are getting some top-notch people in here that can continue on with the City Council vision.
Airport Committee - I put out the Airport Committee agenda which meets on Monday night.
Another Home! - Another Housing Incentive Application was received this week. This one is going up next to that new house on SW 14th. That brings us to 23 applications for new construction this year to date.
Acting Chief – Lieutenant Cooper will be acting chief until I can get a temporary acting chief. I have been in conversation with OACP about an interim chief. I am interviewing someone on Monday. He’s a retired chief with many years of experience. Lt. Cooper will need the extra hands in the Police Department.
Transitional Shelter – The transitional housing shelter got funding through the end of the winter season. They are making a few touchups and doing preventative maintenance on the shelters. They hope to open in November.
Engineering Services Roster – Our City Engineer Paul Woods got out an engineering on-call services contract. If you know of any engineering or surveying companies who would like to do work for the city, please share the hyperlink. https://www.ontariooregon.org/engineering.html
Ribbon Cuttings – We had a very nice crowd to cut the ribbon at Beck Kiwanis Tennis Courts. The Community School brought some of their tennis athletes. Much thanks to the Public Works Department and Chief Leighton for helping with the leaves and water from the overnight rain before the ribbon cutting. They got it cleaned up great for the photo op.
Prison Advisory Committee (PAC) – I attended our quarterly meeting with the SRCI PAC. There are a lot of good things going on at SRCI and I was able to share all the great things the city council is accomplishing.
Chamber Board – Chief Leighton and I attended the monthly chamber board meeting. Once again, I was able to share a lot of the great accomplishments of the City Council. People seemed genuinely excited about the tennis courts.
OCP North/South Trail – I kept following up about our North South Trail and finally got the attention of the person at ODOT. He apologized for dropping the last communication I sent him in September. He had lost track of the agreement. The short version is that we are hopefully moving forward again.
City Attorney – I have been in contact with an attorney interested in being the next City Attorney. She is still committed to submitting a letter of interest. We will have something to Council for the November 9, 2021 meeting.
Community & Economic Development
Unfortunately, Community Development had to have their office closed this week with the exception of a few hours from our part time staff due to Covid. They left messages on their phones to contact them by email and cell phone to continue business the best they could.
Our full-time Building Official has been doing what she can from home but is limited. Fortunately, our other Building Official has been keeping building inspections going.
Dan Cummings finalized the annexation ordinance for another rezone which is on the Agenda for the November 9th council meeting as well as some other items.
We are working on three more hangers at the airport which will make a total 14 new hanger leases this year if finalized.
Dan is working with Larry and Tori in getting the final documents prepared for the property purchase and construction easement for the Tapadera Lift Station.
Dan has been working on 8 Land Use Actions in different phases of completion.
This week the command staff processed various administrative investigations and processes that needed to be completed prior to Chief Romero’s official retirement on 10-29-21.
Staff worked with a contracted vendor which installed security surveillance cameras in the OPD Evidence room. This will allow the OPD Evidence Room Audit to continue into the next phase and provides new security controls for OPD’s evidence facility.
Chief Romero appointed Detective Ben Esplin to the rank of “Acting Sergeant” to fill a significant gap in staffing shortages within the OPD leadership ranks.
10-27: OPD investigations unit and the county’s Major Crimes Task Force assisted Caldwell, Idaho Police in locating an attempted murder suspect that was residing in Ontario. After a brief surveillance, the suspect was followed out of the area and arrested without incident just outside the city limits. Suspect will be extradited to Idaho.
10-28: SRO Elizondo, Chief Romero, and Code Enforcement Officer Rick Reyna participated in a “trunk or treat” event at OHS. The event was well attended by community members.
10-29: participated in a “trunk or treat” event at the FRCC in support of the Boys and Girls Club of Ontario.
Fire & Rescue
Chief met with project representatives about water supply issues near NW 8th Ave and Fortner. Chief met with the administration of Four Rivers School about some inspection documentation and possible remodeling that may take place. The State Fire Marshal and Chief met at Four Rivers School to look at the possible changes and did a follow up inspection at OCCDC.
Some of the staff did driver operator training. The normal Tuesday night training was vehicle extrication with the battery powered hydraulic tools.
Adam and Chief attended a couple of ribbon cuttings for some exciting improvements in our city. The repairs and reopening of Beck-Kiwanis Park tennis courts and opening of Elevation 2150 on SW 4th ave. 10/28,29 some of the staff participated in the Trunk or Treat events at Ontario High School and the Boys and Girls Club held at Four Rivers Cultural Center.
1021 SE 9th Ave #52 The staff responded to a mobile home fire that was started by inappropriate cooking. The fire was contained quickly and contained to just the kitchen area. The crews contained the fire, checked for extension, and ventilated the house and then did an investigation to the cause. Rescue 1 responded to a cooking fire at 995 Manor Way. The fire was out upon their arrival and the tenant told them she had left some food on the stove.
The Public Works Department continue to have No Reportable Accidents in 154 days without incident.
Operations (Streets and Facilities)
Annual Citywide Catch Basin cleaning continuing with citywide street sweeping.
Two Funerals were conducted, and mulching operations continue in the Parks. They are also completing final completion of the system-wide ‘winterizing’ (i.e., irrigation shut-down) efforts.
Staff are coordinating efforts with the Rotary Club for Laxson Park’s four-(4) new trash receptacle installations.
Water Utility (Treatment and Distribution)
Efforts in the delivery of water treatment chemicals (Ferric Chloride) to meet water production demands have leveled off. Clarifier No.1 cross collector was repaired. A spill response training was completed this week. Bacteria sampling and testing for Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) and nitrates is being conducted. Crews completed the relocation of the 3” water line on Fortner Street.
Wastewater Utility (Treatment and Collection)
Skyline Farms lessee ceased irrigation. Winterizing of the system continues including booster stations. Replacement efforts of micro-chlor cell commencing. Plant sampling of Total Suspended Solids (TSS), Nutrient and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) commenced. We are in the final month of Arizona State University COVID Testing Study and in our spare time providing assistance to Water Treatment Plant Crew members on Clarifier No.1 cross collector.
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.