Okanogan city hall

OKANOGAN – The city is working with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to get some large rocks in Salmon Creek rearranged so they won’t send water toward private property on Mill Street.

Property owner Wade Pinson said part of his back yard collapsed into the creek last year during the flood after the U.S. Corps of Engineers moved rocks to protect public property downstream from Mill Street. The result was water undercut the bank at Pinson’s property.

Pinson said a chain-link fence on his property now is hanging loose.

“I’m not getting my trees and land back, but it is eroding under the chain-link fence,” he said. “I don’t want my fence to go anywhere” downstream, where it could cause more problems.

Contract planner Chris Johnson said he’s met with representatives from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife and Colville Confederated Tribes. In years past, the creek was dry much of the year because of upstream diversions by the Okanogan Irrigation District, but tribal fish restoration work now means there’s water in the stream all year.

As long as the rocks are in the water and remain there, they might be able to be rearranged without lengthy federal fisheries permitting, he said.

In other business, the council:

-Learned the city received a state award for wastewater treatment plant compliance. The award marks the 11th in a row for the plant, which also won awards from 2004-2006.

-Learned updates are in the works for the nuisance ordinance.

-Learned contract planner Chris Johnson is working with Alta Vista Irrigation District for a new franchise agreement. The district supplies water to the area around and north of the courthouse.

-Learned a project is in the works for improvements at the Alma Park overlook and a fish weir.

-Agreed to apply for a loan to rebuild the levee on Conservation Island around the sewage treatment plant.

-Agreed to have Pete Peterson Plumbing Inc. do test on city-owned water backflow devices. The cost is $1,456.53.

-Learned an improvement committee was formed by the Okanogan Chamber of Commerce. The group is working to improve downtown arts, culture and walkability.

The goal is to earn creative district certification through the state arts commission.

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