Orondo holds second town hall

Community members brainstorm ideas at the Orondo Town Hall meeting April 11. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)


By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Orondo Town Hall Leadership Committee members are, from left, Adam Poush, Hannah Poush, Rose Auvil and Millie Watkins. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)

The second town hall meeting for Orondo community members was held April 11 in the Eagles Nest room at Orondo School.

The evening began with a meal of chili and cornbread, prepared and served by Dewey Stedman.

Following the dinner, Hannah Poush began the meeting by reiterating the meeting’s purpose and goals of providing a place for community members to communicate face-to-face and become better acquainted with each other, celebrating?the values and benefits of the community,?identifying and prioritizing projects of mutual interest to enhance the community, and?working together to accomplish those projects.

Douglas County Commissioner Steve Jenkins was introduced by Millie Watkins and an agenda was distributed.

Participants were divided into three groups and asked to discuss and prioritize the top suggestions that came out of the first town hall meeting last November.

Group leaders Rose Auvil, Hannah Poush and Adam Poush led table discussions. After brainstorming, the leaders reported priorities of each group and an action list was compiled.

At the first town hall meeting, the need for a community center as a venue for various events received the most votes and consequently topped the agenda for group discussion.

Orondo community members discuss issues at the town hall meeting. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)

Following group reports, participants agreed to investigate resources that could be available to accomplish this goal. A task force was formed to further explore the idea.

?The task force will dream up a vision for the center and its purpose, as well as begin figuring out answers to practical questions such as where it could be located and what funds might be available for the project,??Poush said.

Anyone who is interested in joining the task force or wanting more information should contact town hall committee members Hannah Poush at Hannah@auvilfruit.com, Rose Auvil at (509) 421-6832, or Millie Watkins at mwatkins@orondo.wednet.edu.

Another need in the community is affordable housing. Scott Carter and Chuck Podlich were appointed to further investigate this issue with the county.

Meeting the desire for more community activities, Gail DeGrave organized a community walking meet-up. The first meet-up began April 19 at the Orondo School track. The walks will be held every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.

?Individuals, families and friends, all are welcome,? DeGrave said. ?This is an opportunity to meet neighbors, take a break, change routines, breathe fresh air, stretch, move and laugh.?

The walks will start as low-intensity but may become higher-impact depending on the participants. Walkers should bring water bottles, healthy snacks, medications and wear comfortable walking shoes and clothing.

For more information, contact DeGrave at 668-1124 or email gaildegrave@me.com.

Better communication is another priority. Adam Poush suggested using Facebook and other social media and resources for getting announcements to the community. Other ideas included newspaper announcements, a school reader board, a community calendar and newsletter.

A list of community resources will be compiled by Poush. This list will provide a reference to skills and services available in the Orondo area. Anyone with a business or special skill of value to the community should contact Adam Poush at ajpoush@icloud.com or 860-1945.

Progress updates will be reported at the next town hall meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. June 12.