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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
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November 12, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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November 12, 2015
 

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NEWS Thursday, November 12, 2015 continued from page 1 will allow Burlington Northern Santa Fe engines to pick up 110-car unit trains loaded and assembled at Highline's new grain loading facility currently under construction near the Medical Lake-Four Lakes Road. The new tracks will also give those trains the ability to travel faster than the currently allowed 10 miles per hour, likely up to 25 mph. entrance point from Spokane, causing vehicular delays and long backups that could include emergency vehicles. The city is proposing to realign the tracks to the eastside of the highway by crossing them under SR 904 closer to the Cheney Rodeo grounds location. The resolution also lists expanding SR 904 to four or five lanes as another lobbying item, one that has been on its legislative agenda for several years. The agenda also Cheney Mayor Tom Trulove, Schul-i n c 1 u d e s ler and other officials have said the grain p e r s u a d- terminal unit trains aren't necessarily an i n g t h e issue, as those loads would be seasonal Legislature and infrequent. What is an issue for the to protect city is the refurbished tracks are part of and restore a rail line that connects about a mile fur- shared rev- "They're all important, but I wouldn't spend a lot of money on number two." ther to the west with the relocated Geiger Spur, offering the opportunity for better rail access to current manufacturers and potentially new manufacturers on the West Plains. That in turn could lead to increased train traffic through Cheney's main enues between the state and cities, op- poses the imposition of more unfunded or underfunded mandates, and asks the state to allow cities to better recover costs associated with public records requests. In discussion, Councilman John Taves, noting the digital sign leaving Cheney that tracks the number of days since the last serious collision on SR 904 was well over 700, said the city has already said a lot on widening the highway. "They're all important, but I wouldn't spend a lot of money on number two," Taves aid. Trulove noted that while traffic safety is important, widening the highway is likely a necessity for attract- ing more non-retail businesses Councilman John -raves into the city, par- ticularly in Cheney's Commerce and Industrial Park. In other council business, the council approved amending the agreement with CleaResult for the Energy Smart Grocer Program in order to allocate an addi- tional $10,500 from its Bonneville Power Administration conservation budget. The city had originally allocated $10,500 for energy conservation projects, and Light Department Director Steve Boor- man said the additional allocation would allow implementation of two projects in two area stores. If the money is not used it will be returned to the conservation budget. The council also approved an agree- ment enabling the city's Municipal Court to receive a $14,800 grant from the Wash- ington State Office of Public Defense for use providing public defense services. Court Administrator Terri Cooper said it was the eighth year the city has received the funding, although the amount is less due to more cities asking for assistance. Finally, the council approved an $18,100 award to Dow Excavating to perform work hooking up two First Street businesses, the Bogles Building and the Quonset Hut Building, to the city's sewer system. John McCallum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com. continued from page 1 Because of the state's taxing structure, the owner of property whose assessed valua- tion is $100,000 might see their property tax drop from 2015's $228.26 per month to $221.98 without the i percent in- crease, and just $224.28 with the 1 percent. The owner of property assessed at $!50,000, whose tax in 2015 was $342.39 would see their 2016 payment drop to $332.97 without the 1 percent, and $336.42 with the increase. "We have a very com- plicated tax structure in Washington state," City Administrator Doug make much of a dif- Ross said. ference to the annual The council could budget. elect to increase the The councilapproved property tax increase to both 1 percent rate in- 6 percent per assessed creases. They also set the "We have a very complicated tax structure in Washington state." City Administrator Doug Ross value, but that move regular council meetings would require a publicon Nov. 17 and Dec. 1 as vote. Public approval the dates for preliminary would allow the city and final budget public to increase its annualhearings. property tax levy by itsCouncil approved "banked" amount, a resolution declaring Finance Director Ferguson Enterprises Jennifer Hough said as a sole source vendor this amount was about for the city's water me- $38,000 and wouldn't ters, remote meters and C~0OU~ from page 1 increased ~his election night percentage of votes dropped to eight votesfrom 59.60 percent to with the Nov. 4 count, but 61.98 percent in the race since then has slowly in- for the Cheney School creased, rising to 26 votes District Director District on Nov. 5 before finishing 3 seat. In the race for the Facts about Proposition ls Cheney - Proposition I increases the city's property tax levy from its current $2.40 per $1,000 of assessed valuation to its fully authorized limit of $3.10 per $1,000 of valuation. It would result in an estimated increase to the city's general fund of $410,975. It would be a one-time lift, with the yearly valu- ation permanently set at $3.10. Airway Heights - Funds emergency medical services in the city by imposing an EMS tax levy of 25 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value for the next six consecutive years, beginning in 2016. with an 18-vote lead after district's Director Dis- Nov. 9, receiving 50.16 trict 5 seat, challenger percent of the vote. Mitch Swenson was still In the only two other comfortably ahead of in- contested races on the cumbentJamesWhiteley, West Plains, incumbent receiving 54.89 percent of Henry C. Brown, Jr. has the vote. And in the race for Fire District 10 Commissioner Position 2, incumbent Ken Pegg was receiving 63.72 percent against challenger Susan Leonetti. Also as of the Nov. 9 count, both public safety propositions in Airway Heights and Cheney were passing comfortably. Air- way Heights Proposition 1 to provide emergency medical services was re- ceiving 65.87 percent yes votes, a slight drop from the election night 66.40 percent. Cheney's Proposition 1 to do a one-time, but permanent levy lid lift to fund police and fire de- partment personnel and equipment needs was passing by 59.28 percent, increasing from 58.73 on Nov. 3. The next ballot count will take place Nov. 23. The election is scheduled to be certified Nov. 24. John McCal- lum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress.com. billing system for 2016 vendor is required by ment officer and Spo- and 2017. According to state law that allows kane County Sheriff's a letter from the meter the city to bypass the Office commissioned and billing system's bidding process during reserve deputy Don manufacturer, Sensus, its upgrade. Mayfield available to Ferguson is the only Council also passed provide security ser- authorized distributor a resolution creating an vices at the court, with of its products in Wash- addendum to its agree- Cheney responsible ington, Oregon, Idaho ment with the city of for the accompanying and Alaska. Cheney for the provi- wages and benefits. Medical Lake is in sion of municipal court Mayfield has previ- the process of upgrad- services and facilities, ously been volunteering ing all its water meters Cheney is currently pro- his time during court to radio-read meters, viding those services to sessions. and is using Sensus in Medical Lake. J o h n M c C a I - the upgrade. Passageof The addendum re- lure can be reached at the resolution declaring quires Medical Lake . jmac@cheneyfreepress. Ferguson a sole source to make code enforce- com. TOMLINSON Pete Baccarella 509-953-4598 USAF Retired BUY or SELL? www.petebaccarella.com and the excitement is in the air! This event brings people right in your door. People sign on your entry form from the paper on November 5th and the winner from your business is listed with you on November 19th. (One weekend left to stuff boxes/we'll call business to draw a coupon on the 16th) Each business gives away a certificate for a turkey.