The fires across the state have burned over 1.1 million acres. I’m just grateful that we haven’t had to deal with that in addition to COVID-19.
COVID – We got our phase 3 funding out for businesses. Please check our website and forward people who could use this funding to the website. The Small Business Development Administration is willing to help businesses with the paperwork. If it looks confusing, ask for help or apply and we will help them through the issues.
Cases are still high at over 100 new cases a week. Peter has been working with the county on messaging to the public. It sounds like a vaccine is close to being developed but there are mixed indications about when they will be done.
SRCI – We spent a lot of time building, refining, and discussing the financial model for the Rural Fire Department services with the city and SRCI. We accomplished proving that the number had to go up.
Laxson Park – The walking trail at Laxson park was paved this week. It looks really nice. I drove by last night and saw an elderly couple walking on it holding hands. I tried to get a picture, but they broke off and went to their home. Here’s a shot of the new trail though. This was made possible by our park match program.
ICMA Conference – Next week is the ICMA Conference, which will be virtual. This means that I will be in conference sessions Wednesday through Friday.
Airport Planning Grant - I spent some time working on the airport planning grant for the border board.
Homelessness – Several members of Council have expressed concern about the homeless in our community. I am participating in a workshop about case law and solutions for homeless persons in the community. The first session was primarily the legal framework, the session next week will be on solutions.
Grant Writing - I met with Merchant McIntyre twice this week to work on grant applications. Engineering is putting together their part and I have to contact some businesses to get letters of support for job retention and expansion.
Downtown Scaping - We met with Andrews Seed to talk about the trial planting in one of the bulb-outs. We are going to see if the plantings can survive with the water schedule we are currently on. We don’t want to do the whole downtown without knowing if it’s going to work. Public Works staff met with us and we talked about the care for the planters that should help us next year.
Leadership Team – Our staff leadership team met this week and focused on two things. First was which service provider we would use for automation of services online. We have come to a decision and will be bringing that to Council on October 8. The second item was to work on the Coronavirus Relief Fund Budget that was presented to council on Tuesday. To prepare for that, I spent time communicating with our other community organizations to address their needs. We will need to be flexible if we see certain activities are not being funded and other needs appear more important.
Sept 16th- Chief Romero attended the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run Charity Golf Tournament planning meeting. Chief Romero would like to invite community members to come out to the Scotch Pines Golf Course in Payette, Idaho for a community building, social distanced designed event. The event is Saturday October 3rd, 2020, with registration beginning at 7:30 am. Flyer will be posted on OPD Facebook.
Sept 16th- Chief Romero conducted a safety inspection and walk thru of the Ontario and Payette Boys and Girls Club houses at the request of the BGC CEO and staff. The inspection is part of the Chief’s plan to assist local businesses with the creation of safer working environments through the concept of Crime Prevention through Environmental Design (CPTED).
Sept 17th- Chief Romero began a comprehensive review of the department’s current use of force policy and practices in order to assess its applicability with the recently proposed “8 can’t wait” national campaign for police use of force policies and practices. Chief Romero is determined to have the best trained (most modern) and proficient (skilled) police agency in the state, in the area of use of force.
Sept 18th- Chief Romero met with Snake River Correctional Institution Superintendent Brad Cain to discuss the current state of prison operations and professional partnership opportunities between the two agencies.
It was a very busy week for the OPD team.
Sept 14th- OPD assisted the fire department with evacuation efforts at the scene of a residential fire in the 900 block of NW 4th Ave.
Sept 15th- OPD assisted the fire department with a suspected arson case near the bottle drop center on NE Goodfellow St. Two shopping carts and their contents were lit on fire but no damage was reported to any nearby structures. Case is under investigation.
Sept 15th- OPD responded to a shots fired call in the 100 block of NE 3rd St. An adult suspect was identified and arrested for shooting at several victims. All parties are believed to be associates and no threat to general public was identified.
Sept 17th- OPD responded to 2 different calls for individuals exhibiting mental illness and very bizarre behavior. Both incident the individuals posed a threat to the community and in one incident a threat to officers as well. Both were forcefully detained and taken to the hospital for emergency psychiatric care. Incidents involving drug addicted, mentally ill, individuals remain steady within the city limits.
Sept 17th-OPD provided an agency assist to the Malheur County Sheriff’s Office regarding a shots fired call just outside the city limits. OPD officers located the suspect as he fled the area and made the arrest of the suspect. OPD assisted MCSO with putting all the pieces together for the investigation and expect to file charges against the involved parties. Case continues to develop.
Code enforcement officer Brockett spent the week preparing for abatement administrative reviews and proceedings. OPD is looking to procure a second administrative hearing officer to add to the efficiency of the process.
CEO assisted with caring for two dogs-at-large and assisted OPD officers with several vagrancy related calls this week.
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.