omak city hall

OMAK – The city council is pondering whether changes are needed to the Omak Park Board.

During its Feb. 3 meeting, City Administrator McDaniel told the council that staff has been reviewing city code concerning the board, which currently does not have enough members to make a quorum. Meetings have been canceled.

According to the city’s website, two positions on the five-member board are vacant and the terms of three others have expired.

McDaniel said he would like to see potential board members from outside the city limits.

Councilman Dave Womack asked if the city is required to have a park board.

McDaniel said he hasn’t found anything that requires the city to have a board. He said he’s been in touch with City Attorney Mick Howe about how to proceed, but until the municipal code is updated the board must exist.

The municipal code was set up in 1958 and the park board’s function has changed since then, McDaniel said.

According to the city, the board advises the mayor, city council and departments about general supervision and control of all parks and recreation facilities and programs in the city. It also advises city leaders regarding establishment of a park and/or recreation department and control.

Councilwoman Nattalie Cariker voiced frustration as a previous council liaison to the board for several years. She said in the past, the board’s recommendations are not always supported by the council.

Councilwoman Michelle Gaines, the current council liaison, recommended there be more structure with staff support.

No decisions were made.

In other business, the board:

-Agreed to purchase a flex-wing mower through the state purchasing cooperative. The cost is $14,584.52. Washington Tractor, Okanogan, is the vendor.

-Accepted wastewater treatment plant heating-cooling improvements as complete. Don Kruse Electric, Omak, did the work.

-Approved the purchase of two replacement pumps for the Walmart lift station. Money is in the budget to rebuild the pumps, one of which failed recently, but the difference between rebuilding and replacing was minimal.

The pumps will cost $7,682.20 from Whitney Equipment, Woodinville.

-Approved an agreement with Vision Forms for outsourcing city utility statements. The company would collate and mail the statements.

The move is expected to save the city money in mailing and equipment costs. The cost for 2,100 bills is $1,575.50 plus$945.50 for postage and a one-time setup fee of $400.

City Clerk Connie Thomas said she didn’t factor in labor savings since the utility clerk’s time would be spent doing other tasks.

-Agreed to a utility line easement with the Okanogan County Public Utility District for the right of way alongside the Meadow Point project on Jonathan Avenue.

-Approved a partnership with the state Department of Revenue for business licensing service. Online business registration services will be available.

-Learned a parks department position is being advertised. Parks department head Doug Truitt retired Jan. 31 and his position has been posted in house.

Assistant Public Works Director Wayne Beetchenow told the council he anticipates filling it, which would leave a crew member position vacant.

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