omak city hall

OMAK – The city is buying radar signs for Jasmine and Ironwood streets and LED stop signs for the four-way stop at Ash Street and Central Avenue.

Purchase of the signs was approved by the city council during its July 20 meeting.

The signs will cost $15,042.31 from Traffic Safety Supply, Portland, Ore. Funds for the purchase are in the 2020 budget.

Councilwoman Nattalie Cariker said having the radar signs in the Jasmine and Ironwood areas is crucial.

Councilman Dave Womack said he knows there is speeding on Jasmine and Ironwood streets, and the streets that come into the city from the county are important. Jasmine and Ironwood are two of the hot spots, he said.

Public Works Director Ken Mears also suggested that during budget talks for 2021, the council should discuss investing in a mobile radar unit versus having more radar signs around town.

Councilwoman Michelle Gaines agreed that designated locations are important. She said the sign purchase would be funded by property taxes versus sales tax and City Administrator Todd McDaniel agreed.

The signs are funded through the street fund and revenues are better than expected at this point, but he shared Councilman Barry Freel’s concerns about being cautious with money.

In other business, the council:

-Approved a budget amendment to account for $148,200 in federal CARES Act funding to the city. The money is funneled through the state Department of Commerce for COVID-19 relief.

-Tabled resolutions dealing with grant applications for skate park construction funding.

-Agreed to amend the lease with Federal Express for office space at the Omak Municipal Airport terminal. The current lease is set to expire at the end of 2020. The change allows the lease to run through May 2025, with an option for a three-year additional term.

-Discussed adding a policy for employees related to prevention and an emergency plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy would be brought to council at its Aug. 3 meeting.

The Community Support and Public Safety Committee discussed purchasing additional laptops to allow work from home if the need should arise.

City Administrator Todd McDaniel said Public Works Director Ken Mears is working on a sound system upgrade integrating Zoom for future hybrid meetings.

He also said a few utility accounts are starting to accrue high balances.

-Learned the Jasmine Street pavement overlay would begin this week.

-Learned sales tax revenues have increased from last year’s revenue, but hotel/motel tax revenue is low, as are RV park revenues and royalties the city normally receives from Omak Stampede Inc.

McDaniel said there will be a savings in the hotel/motel fund since organizations will not be using the advertising dollars in 2020.

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