City Treasurer Donna Wilson introduced the proposed budget for FY 2020 at the regular Orofino City Council meeting held July 9.

As always, council members were reminded the following figures may change, prior to adoption of the actual budget, as city officials and department heads determine their priorities for the upcoming year.

The overall proposed budget is $6,986,280, six percent higher than last year’s budget. A three percent property tax is being requested; the same as last year’s levy rate.

No new vehicles will be purchased next year with the exception of the Street Department. They are requesting the purchase of a new street sweeper at a cost of $250,000. Police and Fire departments will contribute to the Vehicle Fund as a future set-a-side.

Sanitation rates will need to increase by 2.9%, water and sewer rates will remain the same.

The slip lining that was originally planned for next year has been postponed until the following year. The city will be carrying over $200,000 next year on account of the Canada Hill reservoir repair work that takes priority because of DEQ regulations.

The million gallon water reservoir will receive $250,000 in repair work to its’ interior lining.

The recreation department is up by 11% due to funds being carried over for the construction of the Skate Park which will partially take place this summer and completed in next year’s budget. There is an additional $25,000 set-a-side for tennis court repair. This is a saving set-a-side which could take several years to complete.

The Orofino Business Center has a 118% increase in expenditures due to its expansion project. The city received a $300,000 RDBG from the Idaho Department of Commerce for this expansion.

The overall General Fund, which consists of Legislative, Planning and Zoning, UFO, Executive, Finance and Administration, CCED, Police, Fire, Building, and the Airport, is down 2.7%, from $2,373,470 to $2,308,755.

Upon hearing the department heads present their reports, Mayor Ryan Smathers noted the common theme of everyone doing all they could to save every dollar possible.

“I appreciate each and every one of you for looking for ways to save funds in every aspect of their work and still get the job done, and done well,” said Smathers, “I think it’s important for the public to know,”

Personnel policy amendments

The City’s Personnel Policy was amended to reflect recent recommendations issued by ICRMP, to include that all employees of the city are “at will” employees who serve at the discretion of the city and can be removed from their position at any time with or without cause. The employee has the right to leave employment with the city at any time without giving notice.

Also added to the Personnel Policy was the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) which is a Federal requirement for all public entities.

Departmental reports

Administrator Rick Laam reported that sealcoating, or “rehabilitation” for the airport’s runway, taxiway, aprons and approach road was be completed July 10. The airport was closed from July 7 through the 10, for this process.

Treasurer Wilson submitted the Revenue vs. Expenditure by Fund Report ending May 2019. She also commented on the growing popularity of the public’s ability to purchase Avgas at the airport. She explained the options offered by the new card lock unit: gas can be purchased by quantity of gallons, or by the dollar amount, or a “fill up”.

Please be advised that if the “fill up” option is used, a $200 hold will be placed on the patron’s credit card.

Also note that a tail number will be requested, and for non-pilots, the city asks that you make up a number, to gain access.

At the council meeting prior, Building Official Todd Perry and Police Chief Wilson had inquired as to how the council wanted to handle camp trailers being utilized throughout the city, on an extended basis. Perry said the topic was a land use issue and it needed to go to the Planning and Zoning Commission to review in order to make a recommendation to the city.

Public Works Supervisor Shane Miller informed the council on progress at the Orofino Business Center. Other news included cleaning up after the wind storms and working on a water leak on First Street. Miller believes it will be one of the pipes to be replaced in the near future, as well as one on G St.

Police Chief Jeff Wilson deferred his report to executive session.

Water/Wastewater Supervisor Mike Martin stated he would be meeting with a sales rep to consider the use of various products which may be more efficient and effective to the water plant’s needs.

Martin also noted that the city’s new water treatment plant had won an award from the EPA and DEQ. He was still waiting to hear when it would be presented.

Fire Chief Jonathan Hoyt was thrilled to report that throughout the day of celebration of the Fourth of July, there was not a single fire call.

Hoyt said he had received three PFI wildland pumps, which he had intended to use for parts and ended up getting all three up and running for six dollars in parts.

Resolution

The board approved Resolution No. 19-483, Amendment to the Personnel Policy.  

Minutes, bills and claims

The council approved minutes of the Regular Council meeting held June 25, regular bills plus additional bills and payroll ending July 6.

Public comment

Clayne Tyler, Prosecuting Attorney for Clearwater County spoke to the council regarding the work of Orofino Police Department, particularly in the conclusion of the Samantha Fignani murder trial. “We took the case on rather than delegating an outside agency for a couple of reasons, one because of their expertise of skills and two, our level of trust in the department.

“Sgt. Frazier was an integral part of our team, I cannot speak highly enough of Officer Frazier, It was an incredible performance. I know there were tens of thousands in man hours of preparation.”

Tyler cited a report issued last week by Idaho State Police, declaring a 28% decrease in the Second Judicial District. “It is the highest level of effectiveness of policing and prosecution of all the counties district-wide. The Second Judicial Court was second in decreasing crime rates statewide, to give you a little bit of an idea at how effective these guys are. I’d like to thank the city on behalf of the county for allowing us to utilize their time and expertise to do this in house.

Chief Wilson responded by saying the Prosecutor’s office has increased their workload substantially, far surpassing any increase for cost of services. “They make time for us on any case we want to talk about. We have a great working relationship and I don’t know how it could be any better. Not every department has that.”

Executive session

Pursuant to Idaho Code 74-206 an executive session is called, subsection 1 (b) to consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining of or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent, or public school student. 

Upcoming meetings

The Orofino Planning and Zoning Commission met on Tuesday, July16. The next regular City Council meeting is Tuesday, July 23. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m. 

Any person needing special accommodations to participate in the above noticed meeting should contact the City of Orofino five days prior to the meeting at 217 First Street, Orofino, Idaho or call 476-4725.

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