Odessa Town Council
Last updated 8/12/2021 at 9:37am
ODESSA – The Odessa Town Council met Monday evening in the public library. Mayor Bill Crossley first convened the scheduled public hearing regarding the purchase of a truck by the Public Works Dept. to replace a current vehicle with more than 100,000 miles on it and a police car by the Town Marshal’s office to replace the Ford Explorer currently in service, which continues to have costly mechanical problems. Its latest issue is failure of the vehicle’s air conditioning system. Given this summer’s excessive heat, Crossley instructed Police Chief Les Jimerson to proceed with repairs. Council wishes to apply for financial assistance to the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture to purchase two replacement vehicles. Purchase of the police car would involve a 60/40 split, with the USDA grant covering 40% of the cost and the Town of Odessa covering the remainder. Crossley then closed the public hearing and called the regularly scheduled meeting to order.
Following approval of the previous month’s minutes and financials, business owners Amanda Wallace and Jeremy Smith from the 1902 Coffee House proposed a one-day, community-wide Halloween event on the Saturday preceding Halloween. The city of Deer Park holds such an event, dubbed Pumpkin Lane, they said, that has grown exponentially over the past several years with participation by nearly all local businesses. Council members expressed no objections and suggested they consult with the Odessa Chamber of Commerce to gauge interest by the business community here.
Bruce Finkbeiner brought up the issue of increasingly frequent occurrences over the past 20 years of runoff across his driveway, followed by two to three inches of standing water in his garage due to drainage problems. He cited the buildup of asphalt on the roadway in front of his Fourth Street home as a contributor to the growing problem and requested installation of a dry well or a drainpipe connection to the main sewer line on SR 28 (First Ave.). Public Works Director Rod Webster said he discussed the issue with Steve Nelson of CenturyWest Engineering of Spokane, who proposed a solution within the scope of the mainline installation and repair work currently being performed in Odessa.
Council members approved Resolutions 2021-05 and 2021-06 (financial assistance applications for police and public works vehicles, respectively) and Resolution 2021-07 (letters to homeowners for public works employees to clean up hazardous dry and overgrown vegetation).
Webster met with the project contractors to discuss timelines for finishing the project, which is currently behind schedule.
In his police report, Chief Jimerson summarized a very busy two-week period that included three days of training, dealing with squatters, fraud, a break-in, welfare checks, reports of kids playing on construction equipment left idle over weekends, a vehicle lockout, civil arguments, dog at large, trespassing, prowlers. On the traffic front, he described three equipment issues, two stops for excessive speed, one insurance issue, expired tabs, failure to stop at stop sign and one assist call for backup from the LCSO. He also stopped a golf cart driven by a 14-year-old that was not street-legal in any way.
Town fire chief Don Strebeck reported no in-town fires but nevertheless requested that council consider banning all wood fires within the town limits given the extremely dry vegetation and low humidity. He also reported on plans for a firemen’s auction in February.
Public Works Director Rod Webster that certain mechanical work in his department has been delayed due to parts being on back-order and global trade bottlenecks still affecting the flow of goods and services. He also reported finding garbage dumped into yard-waste-only dumpsters. Painting of crosswalks would take place in the coming days, he said.