Friday, February 1, 2013

Forest Service Supervisor Brazell invited to Orofino City Council meeting

By Alannah Allbrett

Forest Service Supervisor, Rick Brazell, was scheduled on the agenda for Orofino City Council’s regular meeting Jan. 22. Brazell was invited to attend the Tuesday meeting to discuss the Forest Service pulling their headquarters out of Orofino’s Highway 12 offices in favor of a move to Kamiah – taking multiple jobs with it. There was no response by Brazell to Orofino’s invitation, however.

The proposed location for the headquarters, of the now merged Clearwater and Nez Perce National forests, is projected to be moved to Kamiah as a more “central location” for the joint forests. Correspondence has gone back and forth between Brazell and the City of Orofino in 2012, expressing Orofino’s concern at losing this important employer.

Grangeville, conversely, has been active in trying to get the office located in their town, forming a committee called the Grangeville Forest Service Retention Committee, which has been very vocal in trying to sway the Forest Service to relocate to Grangeville, calling their town “a full service community.”

Criticism has been leveled towards Orofino officials, saying they have not been assertive enough in trying to retain the offices in Orofino. Mayor Ryan Smathers maintains that they have been active in making their position known without making a “media spectacle” of it. “We are asking Mr. Brazell if the focus has changed. We are here to go over alternatives and not sitting idly by waiting for them to leave town,” said Smathers.

Petitions Applications Woody Biomass

Mike Hoffman, District Manager for Clearwater Soil and Conservation District, gave an update on the Woody Biomass Project Initially; it will be funded by a Forest Service $110,000 grant through 2014. Hoffman said, ideally, they would like to find a group of investors to fund the construction.

Wisewood, Inc. of Portland, OR, was selected as the consultant out of 10 engineering design entities. Only three companies actually submitted proposals for the project. Hoffman estimates the engineering design aspect will take about nine months to complete. A specific location for the plant has not been selected, nor is the exact size determined. The primary energy consumer from the woody biomass fuel will be the prison with the possibility of providing fuel at some later date to the new CVH Clinic, the high school, the ManiYac Teen Center and the bus garage.In consideration of the neighborhood, the project is estimated to be a “low key” one with possibly two truckloads of fuel per day being sent to the site and offsite storage of logs. Hoffman said support from the community, and county commissioners, is necessary and public input will be sought.

Appaloosa Express

A motion passed to provide the Nez Perce Tribe with a letter of support of the Appaloosa Express Transit, as they seek state funding for 2013.

CVH Clinic

City officials attended a meeting with NAC, Inc., (architectural firm) January 8, to review scheduled plans for the new 20,000 square foot clinic to be constructed for CVHC between Dunlap Rd. and Hospital Dr. The one story building will house 24 examination rooms, tele-med rooms, digital x-ray, a lab, and physical therapy services.
Planning & Zoning

Bobbi Samuels announced her retirement after 30 years of serving as secretary to the Planning and Zoning Committee. Kim Norris will be taking her place. Rick Laam made the recommendation that the pay be increased, in the next cycle, from $50 per month to $100.


The Building and Fire Committee met Jan 15 and made the recommendation not to consider a lease agreement on the Orofino Rural Fire Department’s new station until the building is completed and more information is available. A motion passed in support of the recommendation.


Officer Mike Shore will seek his Idaho certification for K-9 handling. The original dog trainer, from K-9 International, is no longer with the company, necessitating that Officer Shore go to Kansas, with the dog, for three weeks to complete the course.
OPD is delighted with the dog’s drug detection performance, but she needs further training on patrol duties. If Pia cannot meet the training requirements to Orofino’s satisfaction, Officer Shore may choose from other dogs of which he will have had the opportunity to work while in Kansas.

OPD, in conjunction with Clearwater County Sheriff’s Dept. and Idaho State Police, conducted an emphasis patrol on Hwy. 12 recently. Police Chief, Jeff Wilson, reported that it went very well. He stated that they want to take an aggressive approach concerning vehicles containing drugs on the highway. More patrols like this one will take place in the future.

Officer Toombs is spearheading a class at the National Guard Armor, concerning domestic violence. Forty-three people had signed up at the time of this meeting.

Water, Waste Water

Supervisor, Michael Martin, reported that the crew frequently had to go out into the Clearwater River to beat the ice out of the intake vales. By 9 or 10 o’clock in the evening, they could no longer fight the freezing temperatures and just closed down the plant.

The storage water levels were down to six feet – the lowest they’ve ever seen. Kudos to the team, for working so hard, in frigid conditions, to rebuild the water levels which are now at 20 feet.

Future meetings

City Council meets at 6 p.m., the second and fourth Tuesday of every month at Orofino City Hall at: 217 1st St., Orofino.

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