Police Chief Jeff Wilson asked City staff and Orofino City Council at the regular meeting June 25, to help spread the news that as in previous years, no tolerance will be given to those setting off illegal fireworks.

The last few years families have brought their own fireworks to shoot off prior to the main fireworks show at the City Park. Wilson noted a few close calls have occurred when sparks were set off uncomfortably close to the big and powerful charges set up for the evening’s performance.

For everyone’s safety, please leave fireworks, (even the safe ones) at home. Join your friends and neighbors in a spectacular Fourth of July celebration at Orofino City Park, with a fireworks display that is certain to take your breath away!

Petitions, applications, appeals, communications

Mitchell Marx and Scott Taylor with Presnell Gage presented the audit report for Fiscal Year ending Sept. 30, 2018, which was approved by the council. Clean or unmodified reports were given for financial statements fairly representing the City of Orofino as well as internal control.

Marx noted that the past couple of years the City has dispersed as much as 10% and 10.5% of the water is not billed. Losses are less this year, as the figure has dropped to 5.5% for unbilled water.

Marx also noted the other increase in the city’s capital with the annexation of Konkolville, acquiring $420,000 in capital assets.

Tree removal bid result

Of 12 invitations for bids to remove the trees at the airport, only one was returned. City Administrator Rick Laam explained that due to the timing in the season and local loggers already working out in the woods, he assumed here wouldn’t be many bids, but the one to come in was about four times higher than anticipated. The issue, he added, was the chain link fence running along the line of trees.

Laam told council members the engineer recommended the City reject the bid, he was inclined to reject the bid of $333,000, and he felt certain FAA had already rejected the bid. Council members rejected the bid and will issue a new request in October in the attempt to complete the job before winter.

Sanitation rate increase

A letter to the city was received from Nadl Enterprise, notifying the council of a 2.9% cost of living increase in their annual contract with the city.

Departmental reports

Administrator Laam informed council members the first draft of the budget, as well as the revised personnel policy handbook would be distributed at the next meeting.

Treasurer Donna Wilson submitted Revenue vs. Expenditure by Fund report ending April 2019 and the Clearwater County Tax Recap reports.

Building Official Todd Perry announced he had received plans for a new 2,000 square foot spec home with a 350 square foot attached garage on 122nd St.

Other news from Perry included a topic discussed at the last Planning and Zoning meeting June 18. He said he had introduced the idea to commissioners of removing storage units from the Mixed (MXD) Use Zoning Districts. Currently MXD Use is the only district storage units are allowed.

Perry said there were many reasons to consider the change. Councilman Don Gardner added part of the city’s goal was in promoting curb appeal and some areas were not as appealing. “It will take several discussions and certainly a public hearing if any changes are to be made, but I think it should be something we look into,” said Perry. “We need houses, not storage.”

Public Works Supervisor Shane Miller reported digging a substantial sized trench at Orofino Business Center to run power to the building. The work was expected to be finished by the end of the week.

Miller also commented on the availability of Avgas for the Department’s vehicles and claimed how much better the vehicles ran with Avgas, which has also helped with maintenance.

In addition to the Zero Tolerance for Illegal Fireworks, Police Chief Jeff Wilson explained the old computers and hardware from the patrol cars were currently stored in his office. He asked for the council’s authorization for the surplus equipment to be shared with Clearwater County Ambulance Service (CCAS) for their service vehicles. Council members here happy to do so and approved donating the surplus units to CCAS.

Wilson also asked to present another issue to the council, regarding camp trailers and zoning ordinances. Several complaints have been received regarding people taking up residence in camp trailers parked on the street. Some claim they may be there only over the weekend, but are actually there all week or longer. Then of course, some are kept neater than others.

Other complaints were raised as additional traffic appeared with the occupants. He said that he and Perry had been discussing various ways to handle the issue and needed the council to ultimately make the call.

Currently the city’s ordinance for the R-3 district addresses manufactured homes, mobile homes and “trailers,” leaving the type of trailer rather vague, in what is allowed and what isn’t. Wilson said he wanted to make sure that he isn’t left with the decision of who is allowed to use them and who will be cited. The language in the ordinance needs to be cleaned up, enabling the City to be consistent in enforcing the ordinance.

More discussion will be necessary to determine how it will be handled. Perry stated that Planning and Zoning will begin the process and make a recommendation to the council for a final decision.

At the previous council meeting, Water/Wastewater Supervisor Mike Martin reported the department’s dump truck needed brakes. Some of the parts were made in house and the truck is now up and running.

One of the three pumps which pump sewer under the river to the other side lost a propeller which severely damaged the inside of the pump. Martin said they had identified what parts need to be replaced, but learned it may be up to three months to get the parts. Luckily the water is at low flow and the other two pumps can do the job – less efficiently, but it will suffice until repairs are complete.

Fire Chief Jonathan Hoyt was happy to announce that he had received a visit from Casey Strong, Deputy State Fire Marshal for District I, who brought 72 pairs of special goggles used to fight wildland fires to distribute to local fire departments. The goggles were donated by a local sales rep for ESS goggles hoping to encourage more business with rural fire departments. Hoyt said the timing was perfect as fire season is here.

Minutes, bills and claims

The council approved minutes of the Regular Council meeting held June 11, minutes of the Regular Urban Forests of Orofino meeting held June 4, regular bills plus additional bills and payroll ending June 22.

Upcoming meetings

City Council meeting July 9, at 6 p.m.

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