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June 11, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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June 11, 2015
 

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I CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, June 11,2015 NEWS continued from page 1 things regarding supplying Cheney's power, bringing in field experience to issues such as purchasing, budgeting and power conservation. "Joe brought a great corr bi- nation of hands on experience as a journeyman lineman and a thorough knowledge of the power industry to his position as Light Department Direc- tor," City Administrator Mark SchuUer said in an email. "Joe's commitment, dedication to running an efficient and cost effective operation was second to none." In his 36 years in the power field, Noland has seen many changes. For starters, the equipment has become more specialized and better. Take for instance, computers. "There was a main frame up at City Hall but nobody had a PC at their desk," No- land said. Another area was meter reading, which was done by taking a book with all of the customer information in it, going house to house reading meters, logging it in the book and returning that book to City Photo by John McCaUum Cheney Light Department Director Joe Noland will be retiring next, week after 30 years with the city. Noland has been counting down the days by removing an inch from the tape measure hanging by the nameplate outside his office. Hal! where the information "It will give us tools that was transcribed for billing, will make us more efficient," Today, one of the things he said. Noland is most proud of hav- Another change is in the ing accomplished during his area of renewable energy re- tenure is the near completion sources. Noland said when of an electronic meter reading he began, the only renewable system that can read meters resource was called hydroelec- every five minutes and read all tric power. the meters in the city at once Today, utilities and custom- to provide better indicators of ers are adding renewable re- load losses in the system, sources such as wind and solar onto the electrical grid, and it will be one of the industry's chal- lenges regarding how this power is added while still maintaining electrical system stability. Keeping that power afford- able is another chaUenge, Noland said, particularly for Cheney's needs since the city's contracts with Bonneville Power Admin- istration expire in 2028. It's an area, power acquisition, where Mayor Tom Trulove believes Cheney has benefited greatly from Noland's experience. "Joe has been a game chang- er in planning ahead for the electric power system," Trulo- ve wrote in an email. "Always thinking ahead in order to plan and accommodate future needs while maintaining current budget control, he has oper- ated his department with such efficiency that Cheney's electric rates are about 28 percent lower than our closest competitor." Trulove said Noland's abili- ties have made Cheney an elec- trical leader regionally. Noland was elected to the Public Power Council executive committee, was a member of the Board of Northwest Requirements Utili- ties, a group representing non- generating BPA customers, and was a founding member of the Northwest Energy Manage- ment Systems, an organization created to secure non-BPA power when needed by utilities such as Cheney. "This will do much to help preserve our influence and low rates into the future and be an important part of Joe's legacy," Trulove said. When it comes to other ac- complishments, Noland said he is proud of the departmenf s work in rebuilding both of the city's substations along with feeder lines and the remodel of the Utility Building. But he is most proud of the people he works with, a group he said are dedicated to providing good service at a great price and take to heart Noland's philosophy about the importance of listen- ing to the customer. It's a philosophy born from firsthand knowledge. "There's a lot to know about power, and when it gets to the point you think you know it all, it's probably time to pack your bags," Noland said. "I still don't know everything, but I'm packing my bags anyway." John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com. I Vol. 11c Battery Sports continued from page 1 have to do extended con- ing with the schools on City Administrator Doug servation." cutting back during the Ross said. "That's why With the drought Ableman said the city summer, we have those times." emergency in place, cities recommends that an es- Another suggestion Like Cheney, Ross in the West Plains have tablished lawn use about is that residents with ad- said the city coordinates already enacted water an inch of water per week dresses with odd numbers with the Medical Lake conservation measures, and residents with sprin- should water on odd days School District to cut back Thecity of Cheney has kler systems should adjust while properties withon irrigating their fields. already reached out to accordingly, even numbers water on"We also do not ir- residents about conserva- "If you're unsure how even days, a method the rigate the parks as much tion methods through its much, we recommend they city used last year. Resi- duringthe summer," Ross newsletter, take an empty tuna can dents should water before said. "We may get com- "Last year was kindand measure how long it 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. plaints from residents of a hot spell and we takes their sprinkler to fill On June 1, the city of because the lawns at the had to rehab one of our it with an inch of water," Medical Lake enacted parks aren't as green but wells," Cheney Public Ableman said. "We also their water restrictions it's notbecauseoflaziness. Works Director Todd suggest if there is a shaded times, from10 a.m. - 7 It's because we're cutting Ableman said. "Right area that they not water it p.m. The restriction lasts back on irrigation." now we're kind of hang- as much as they would an until September. Ross said Medical ing in there. If we start openarea." "During that time of Lake is also talking with these methods early, we Ableman added that day (10 a.m. - 7 p.m.) the city of Spokane to can make it through the city parks and schools when you water your hook up an intertie to a summer." If citizens use districts use the most lawn, you lose the most water main as an emer- more water, we may water. The city is work- of it due to evaporation," gency water source. "Some folks may ask 'why don't we just drill another well?' but it's not that simple," Ross said. "We could drill an- other well but we are still drawing water from the aquifer. It's like putting more straws in the same glass of water." Ross said residents can also cut back on wa- ter usage in simple ways such as turning off the faucet instead of leaving it running. The city of Airway Heights has similar re- strictions for day-to-day ir- rigation with the principal reason being water con- servation. City Manager Albert Tripp said there are exceptions to the restric- tions, such as if a resident or a business is installing new landscape. "Residents can also request an exemption through the public works director," Tripp said. Tripp added that the city is working on meth- ods to helps educate resi- dents on water conser- vation. It is also getting ready to redevelop and adopt its water use effi- ciency goals for the next six years. Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com. continued from page 1 eral local committees and organizations, including dergone several chang- the Planning Commis- es since James became sign, a position she took the director. In 2013, it over in 2011. In February, moved fromits old loca- she received the 2014 tion at 211 N. Lefevre St., Medical Lake Kiwanis Se- in the Care and Share nior Citizen of the Year. thrift store, to its current "We don't do this for location at 207 S. Wash- recognition," James said ington St., next to the during her acceptance post office and library. It speech. "Everyone has a has also become a train- motive for what they do. ing center for other food For some it's a calling. banks. Second Harvest We all do it for different Food Bank sends new reasons." volunteers to Medical Jan Bailey, Medical Lake for training. James Lake Food Bank Asso- is quick to attribute the ciation president, said food bank's success to the association is looking its volunteers and the for James' replacement. community. She, like many in Medical In addition to being Lake quickly gravitated the food bank director, to James when she first James has served on sev- came to the city. File photo Peg James was voted the 2014 Medical Lake Kiwanis Senior Citizen of the Year. "We hit it off so well," Bailey said. "I told her 'if we had met earlier in life, we'd be best friends.' She is a wonderful pillar in the community." Bailey explained that the new director will need to have volunteer experience. They will also have to be able to distrib- ute the food and manage the volunteers. "We'll need someone who has a big heart and the time to do every- thing," Bailey said. James said being the director for the Medical Lake Food Bank is one of the most rewarding things she's done. "Whoever becomes the new director will pick up on that feeling," James said. Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com. DR. JACOB RIDL FAMILY DENTISTRY NEW Patients Welcome E c,E v cant COMMUNrn" Enjoy life in sty e at Blackstone Estates, Cheney's exclusive active retirement community. Featuring maintenance-free living. high-end finishes and conveniently located in the heart of town, Blackstone Estates is a community you'll be proud to call home. Call to reserve your residence Spacious floor plan featuring two bedrooms/ two bathrooms, double car garages, large kitchens ,with stone oountertops, ample storage and private -~i~ backyard patios )~ Sidlied healthcare, snow removal, yard care, basic home/applianos repairs, water, sewer, J Medical I Kasey Kelly Paulson's frie scends high scl See Sect. 2 New Inside StageWest nity Theatre ed another season, and a] its lineup for ,' that includes sic "Anne of bles." See Neighbo Education Cheney S. trict's board ( approves the Associated Stu revised consti the Medical l board begins the constitutio what to do ab, 12 funding. See pag Summer Opinion With sun around the coz weather alrea up, there's pl. activities to the West Plai ing local flavc support. See pag Like Us I ( ( By AL STOVE: S taff Reporter After six overseeing th tions of the Me( Food Bank, James is resigr her position a]