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Posted by Marshall Cook
on Aug 23, 2014
The weekly meeting of the Orofino Rotary Club this past Friday featured a talk by Ryan Smathers, Mayor of Orofino. His remarks are reported below.
Following an introductory looped PowerPoint about Rotary events, the meeting was opened by Clancy Howard with two quotes, including this from Mother Theresa, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” He also quoted Pliny the Elder who said, “No moral man is wise at all moments.”
Mother Theresa Pliny the Elder
Joe Davis led the Pledge of Allegiance after which President Marshall Cook sponsored the introduction of guests. The Club was pleased to welcome the following guests: Leslie Laam, Eric Tyler, Jamie Tyler, Don and Pat Lake, Barbara Fitzsimmons, and our recently arrived Rotary Exchange Student from Switzerland, Michel Meyer.
After a quick (really funny!) joke by Marshall Cook and the reading of the minutes of the August 20 Rotary Board meeting by Charlie Nation, various club members presented announcements. These announcements concerned the current School Supply Drive, a report on recent Interact activities with Past Rotary District Governor Bob Carroll, Randy Bowen’s upcoming trip to the Philippines, signups for the Rotary Food Booth at the County Fair, the Rotary Assembly September 20, and the upcoming Rotary International Convention in Brazil in June 2015.
Leonard Eckman, the month’s Sgt-at-Arms, collected some Happy Bucks from members with brags, anniversaries, and birthdays, after which he collected some extra money from the attendees to assist Randy during his travels.
Clayne Tyler, the Club’s Vice President, President–elect and Program Chairman, then introduced Mayor Ryan Smathers.
Mayor Ryan Smathers
Ryan began his remarks with a short self introduction that noted that he was born in Orofino, and now has 4 children, 4 dogs, 2 rabbits and 5 jobs. He also mentioned that he had visited Deyo Reservoir recently and thanked the Rotary Club for its work there to the benefit of the whole County.
Next, Ryan gave an advanced showing of 3 videos to the attendees that will soon be released to widely promote Orofino. Under the theme, “Gateway to Adventure,” the well done promotional videos showed Orofino and the surrounding countryside during various seasons. The Chamber of Commerce will market these 3 minute videos via various social media outlets such as You Tube, Facebook, etc.
Ryan was then pleased to mention a number of other things going on in Orofino.
He is working on the 2014-2015 $8 Million City Budget.
The biggest project in the city is the new $11 million Water Treatment Plant, now 97% complete. This plant incorporates 110 filters in 3 banks, with each filter using over 6,000 separate filtration straws. This system is so efficient, that only 2 of the banks of filters are needed at a time and no additional chemicals are needed for the drinking water. The plant has been financed by an interest free grant such that no increase in water rates is necessary.
To help with the water system, a 15,000 gallon water reservoir is being planned in Wixon Heights as well as some replacements of old water mains.
There will be a small increase from $13 to $15 needed this year in the Garbage Rates.
Regarding sewers, the City is experimenting with a new system of installing linings in old sewer lines. If successful, the lining project will save the $100,000 per year now expended to totally patch and repair sewer lines. The new construction will be fixed by this year’s budgeted $100,000.
Bringing up “Hot Button “ issues, Ryan notes that the annexation issue is on hold for the time being, but out of fairness to the people of the city, will have to be addressed again sometime in the future.
The issue of illegal immigration has been discussed. But in Ryan’s view, that is an issue for the Federal and State Governments, not the city.
The City is considering the development of a splash pad in the City Park away from the area used for the Fair and similar events. A splash pad is a water feature of fountains and sprays available for use by kids, the disabled, and adults. Similar pads have been successfully constructed in other cities, and are very popular.
Street paving projects are nearing completion, and the City and Riverside have an excellent relationship for the repairs of waterlines in both area.
There are plans afoot for the construction of a new terminal, using an FAA grant at the airport; and a new hanger has received approval. In addition, airport use has increased and the increase in the sale of aviation fuel has improved airport revenue.
Ryan reminded everyone about the new construction of the $5.5 Million CVH Clinic building, the new building for the Great North Tool Company, and the completion of the Lofts across from the Helgeson Hotel. He pointed out Head Start and Elementary School remodeling, the planned move of the Builder’s Supply up Michigan Avenue, and the planned upgrade to the Rex Theatre. Also, the Chamber of Commerce has pledged $10,000 for a 70 foot flag pole at the entrance to the City Park, and there is a planned construction of 3 x 8 Ft fountain in Heritage Park.
Lastly, the Lewis Clark Credit Union is in negotiations to buy the old VFW building. The building is fraught with problems, so if negotiations can be finalized, LCCU may tear it down and build a new building there. In return, the LCCU would provide a place in the building for the VFW to meet.
Ryan says, In short, “The State of the City is not just good; it is ‘Incredible!’”
Thank you Ryan for your complete and newsworthy rundown of what is happening in Orofino, the “Gateway to Adventure.”
Next week in Rotary, Amber Miller will talk about the Life Flight Network. Joe Davis will present the Thought of the Day, and Loren Whitten-Kaboth will greet arrivals.
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