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Council gives approval for repairs, recognition

Oakdale City Council members approved a number of agenda items at the Tuesday, Feb. 20 meeting including the request from a nonprofit organization that will install flags honoring local military service members just in time for Memorial Day.

Organized by Pacific Project Heroes, the nonprofit proposed placing banners on Third Avenue to honor local Oakdale active military members and veterans. There are 16 light poles on Third Avenue and a total of 32 banners will be displayed, similar to what the city of Turlock does for their local veterans.

Nominated service members will have to provide paperwork verifying their military status and those doing the nominating must be Oakdale residents.

However, a representative from Pacific Project Heroes said that all costs associated with the project will be funded by the nonprofit, thanks largely in part to their fundraising efforts, which they plan to continue in the future.

Mayor Pro Tem Christopher Smith, who has worked closely with the nonprofit praised the project, saying, “This is a wonderful thing to bring forth.”

Councilmember Kayleigh Gilbert agreed, adding, “I think this will look very good in our downtown.”

The motion passed 4-0. More details will be available soon as nomination procedures are made available to the public.

In other news, a leaky roof at Fire Station 28 necessitated Fire Chief Tim Tietjen to appear before the council to request funds to replace the damaged roof before more troubles arise.

According to city documents, Fire Station 28 was built in the 1960s with the original roofing material needing replacement in 2012 but budget constraints prevented a complete overhaul. The temporary fix of a new roofing layer over the original materials was finished instead.

According to Tietjen, leaks have been repaired as they appeared, and the roofing layer seemed to be holding until a major storm on Feb. 2 and 3 moved through the area, pelting Oakdale with heavy rain and winds of 25 MPH, with gusts up to 60 MPH.

The wind tore a large section of the roof over the apparatus bay of the fire station, which was discovered when more leaks appeared.

Following the storm, the crew assessed the damage and discovered a large section of roof membrane had been blown over onto itself, exposing the original roofing material.

The decision was made to finally replace the aging roof and bids were sought from three different roofing companies. One company was unresponsive. The bid was awarded to Peterson Roofing at a cost of $121,755.

Tietjen plans to submit a claim to the insurance company to cover some of the cost of the wind damage, but council members were not optimistic that insurance would pick up much of the bill due to the age of the roof and existing damage.

However, City Manager Bryan Whitemyer assured council the city has been saving for years for a future roof repair as they knew it would be needed.

The request was approved 4-0.