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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
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November 26, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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November 26, 2015
 

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22 1246' 70 Small Town Papers t/l,-Jo e t 217 W Cota St She#on WA g8 54-226," ) Mhhq,l,.,,.,i,rll,,I,H,, qlt.dh,dtlljl",ttl Vol. 119---- No. 32 November 26, 2015 Your West Plains Newspaper Since 1896 75 cents Sports The Cheney Storm FC U14 girls soccer team added a league title to their list of season accomplishments. See Sect. 2, page 2 The latest style Business Lilly Kate Boutique owner Tina Sikkema is bringing Cheney a mixture of bohemian and hippie in- fluenced clothing styles that she hopeg prove popular with the 20 and 30-some- thing crowds. See Sect. 1, page 3 It's alive Education Eastern Washington University's board of trust- ees hear a proposal to build a "living building." The Nature Environmental Sci- ence Testing and Teaching Center could receive all of its energy from the sun, and all of it's water from rain. See Sect. 1, page 2 Opinion Washington state public officials are complaining about the costs to fill large public records requests. The media complains about too many exemptions to Sunshine laws. For once, we agree - some- thing needs to be done. See Sect. 1, page 4 Like Us Find us on Facebook and stay up date with West Plains area news. Artist tour ma a The sixth annual Slight- ly West of Spokane Artists Studio Tour is this Saturday, Nov. 28. To get a map of the seven locations featuring 19 area artists, check out last week's story at www. cheneyfreepress.com Save Our Station now the Cheney Depot Society, receives $5,000 donation By JOHN McCALLUM Editor The effort to save Cheney's former Northem Pacific train station from the wrecking ball is kicking off a major fundraising campaign, part Of which includes a name change. What was formerly known as Save Our Station is now called the Cheney Depot Society, with Eastern Washington University archivist and railroad-enthusiast Dr. Charles Mutschler serving as president. The society is in the process of completing its non- profit status application, and is beginning to get other aspects of fundraising into place. Part of that has been getting businesses and individuals with the financial capabilities to begin taking up Cheney-native Dr. Peter Hansen's offer to match donations up to $500,000. Hansen, who currently lives in Kenai, Alaska, was born and raised in Cheney and his family owned a number of businesses including Hansen's Hardware, Hansen's Clothing as well as a gas station and a bar- bershop. The family still has properties in Cheney. See Depot page 12 un By JOHN McCALLUM Editor While not exactly rosy, Cheney's 2016 general fund budget is looking healthier than it has been in several years. Most of that goes to voters' decision in November to lift the city's levy amount to fund public safety, resulting in $486,100 in new revenue. A smaller portion goes to an increase to the city's overall assessed property valua- tion of $25.87 million, bringing the total to a couple hundred thousand dollars shy of $540 million. A brief overview of the fund's revenues, and four of the six departments relying on that money follows. Photo by John McCallum What are you grateful for? ...is the question on the two center window panes at Cheney's The Mason Jar. People sitting at the window counter have written in numerous reasons why they are grateful as part of the Spokane'County Library District's "Gratitude Graffitti" program. The Mason Jar owner Douglas LeBar said it's a project started by a couple of women back east that has spread across the nation -- and now Cheney where the local library and other locations are also taking part. "We have the biggest window so you can sit there and write," LeBar said. Reve n u e The increase to the city's assessed valu- ation is the first significant jump since 2010, when it went from $452 million to $507.4 million. The valuation rose again in 2011 to $512.49 million, but declined in 2012 and 2013 to $507.58 million and $505.63 million respectively. Finance Department Director Cindy Nie- meier said the recent increase in valuation is likely due to the Spokane County Assessor's Office finally catching up to construction that's been done over the last several years in Cheney. The change is a double-edged sword for city coffers, resulting in an almost $26,000 increase in the amount Cheney an- ticipated receiving from its lifted property tax levy, but leading to a reduction in the amount charged for its emergency medical services levy. See General fund page 11 Cheney council rushes interim zoning ordinance into place Measure allows city time to consider how to deal with a nonconforming land use near Eastern Washington University By JOHN McCALLUM Editor Cheney's City Council elect- ed to take a time out at its Nov. 10 meeting regarding a potential land use decision. The council held all three readings and final passage of an ordinance establishing an interim zone and amending the comprehensive plan to ad- multi-family residential in 1966, but subsequently changed in 199 , leaving the parcels west of Washington Court multi-family and those to the east changed to Public, or P Zone. Public Works dress a potential incompatible Director Todd Ableman told the land use issue at Washington council that since the 1950s, the Court. Washington Court is a Washington Court location had short dead end street located developed as single-family.resi- off Elm Street directly north of dential, which is how it is shown Eastern Washington University's on the city's zoning map. Dressler residence hall. Five homes have been built According to language in the along the street over time. On .ordinance, the parcels between Sept. 23 an individual, Nasir S. Washington and North Elev- A1 Zaria, applied for a pre-ap- enth streets were designated plication meeting with the city to discuss the feasibility of build- ing a 9,000-square-foot, six-unit apartment building behind one of the existing residences. According to the ordinance, any new residential improve- ments, expansion or change of use would require additional infrastructure improvements, and that ,the P Zone should not allow for existing residential to expand its non-conforming use." To prevent further develop- ment,' the ordinance rezones the See Zoning page 12 ~11[!![! I!!!J!l INSIDE Business Sect. 1, pg 3Opinion BusineSs & Service Sect. 1, pg 8-9 Police & Legals Classifieds Sect. 2, pg 7 Sports Education Sect. 1, pg 2 West Plain Briefs Sect. 1, pg 4 Sect. 2, pg 4 Sect. 2, pg 1 Sect. 1, pg 7 Online Extras Local News, Sports Updates www.cheneyfreepress.com