OMAK – Fire Chief Kevin Bowling will do double duty while Okanogan searches for a new fire chief.

During its Nov. 4 meeting, the Omak City Council approved a request from Okanogan to share Bowling on a temporary basis.

After Okanogan Chief Jerod Gavin retired Oct. 15, Mayor Jon Culp asked Omak if Bowling could serve as interim fire chief. A resolution passed by the Omak council provides that service.

Okanogan will pay $61.28 per hour for Bowling’s time, plus 58 cents per mile for mileage from his home in Omak while providing interim chief services.

“The interim fire chief shall be available to assist Okanogan’s volunteer fire staff with the administration, training, compliance, incident reporting and other duties as may be assigned by the City of Okanogan mayor,” said the Omak resolution.

He also would administer and enforce uniform codes within Okanogan.

Omak will remain as Bowling’s employer. Bowling also serves as Omak station chief for the fire district.

Okanogan would be billed monthly.

Officials from the two cities have talked informally about combining the chief position. No action has been taken.

In other business, the council:

-Approved an amendment to the 2019 budget garbage fund to recognize $50,000 in additional revenue and $50,000 in expenditures to Sunrise Disposal.

-Decided to have new carpet installed in the council room for $8,385.50. Great Floors will do the work.

Carpeting replacement costs for other parts of city hall came in $11,650 under budget.

-Received a letter of transmittal from the Omak Park Board concerning the landfill trail, signs and restoration of Julia Maley Park. The board recommended renaming the trail to River Overlook Trail, with minimal signs.

The council agreed.

Restoration of the park was a request in the 2020 mayoral budget proposal.

-Learned the 2019 budget is mostly on track.

City Administrator Todd McDaniel said the generator at the sewage treatment plant will be approximately $78,000 rather than the budgeted $42,000. The increase in cost was unforeseen.

The budget included $295,000 for design and study for the levee sewer main project at Fifth and Sixth streets. After inspection of the main sewer line, engineers determined the line was in good condition, which left unspent money in the budget.

The water fund had unspent funds from the Julia Maley Park well project. Staff did not increase the public utility service budget line to include use from the Julia Maley well and that line will go over budget by approximately $21,000. At the fund level it will be fine, McDaniel said.

-Discussed fall and spring cleanup dates.

-Learned only 39 people responded to the park survey.

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