Town Council

Council hears good financial news

 

November 30, 2017



Steve Nelson of Century West Engineering in Spokane attended Monday’s town council meeting in the public library to announce that the Transportation Improvement Board has agreed to pay the amount of matching funds that Odessa owes as its contribution to roadway improvements made with grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. FEMA will also fund replacement of three parking lots on the Odessa medical campus, he said.

Nelson also proposed to the council that the town consider applying for a $400,000 loan, given the low interest rates available now (2.5 percent for a 40-year payback period), in order to complete all water system improvements needed to bring the town up to date. With the grants already received and those expected to be received in the future, the loan would cover the remainder of what would be a $2.8 million project when completed.

Council members agreed to give the proposal due consideration, taking residents’ responses to possible utility rate increases.

The proposed ordinance revision concerning RV parking within the town limits was discussed at length, with changes proposed by council members. Police chief Tom Clark will rework the ordinance for the council’s approval at the next meeting.

An ordinance increasing garbage rates was approved by the council. Several other ordinances were discussed with no action taken.

A building permit for a replacement fence was approved.

There was no report from the fire department in the absence of fire chief Don Strebeck.

The police report by Clark noted that things were very quiet over the Thanksgiving holiday, with the exception of another pet cat being shot, this time in a different part of town from the previous such incident. The investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Public works director Rod Webster reported that his department has purchased a used dump truck. It needs new tires, and Webster said plans are to sandblast and repaint the truck bed prior to its use. A gutter has been installed by the public works crew over the new entrance to the Biergarten at the rear of the community center. Webster also reported some poor test results at the water treatment plant recently which will mean returning to bagging solids at the plant three times per week rather than one or two times as has been the case for several months. The plant was originally designed for possible future expansion and is therefore currently underutilized based on today’s population and business base, Webster explained. Therefore, plant throughput is at a lower than optimum flow rate that requires the solids to be removed more frequently.

Mayor Lois Hubbard announced that town clerk Gail Kiesz will be leaving her position in the spring and will be working for the next few months at a reduced schedule to use up accrued vacation time and sick leave. Current deputy clerk Denise Snead will move up to the clerk’s position and April Strebeck, recently hired to help out in the office with the many public works projects planned or under way, will move into the deputy clerk’s position. The position to be vacated by Strebeck will then be left vacant unless current needs change.

 

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