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

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NEWS CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, November 26, 2015 I 1 1 FROM STAFF AND NEWS SOURCES Storm changes Medical Lake hearings The Nov. 17 windstorm forced the Medical Lake City Council to postpone its final meeting of Novem- ber, and in the process move its 2016 budget approval process back two weeks. The council was originally to have held its budget public hearings at the Nov. 17 and upcoming Dec. 1 meetings. Instead, they will conduct those hearings at the Dec. I and Dec. 15 meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to receive public comment on the preliminary and final drafts of the com- ing year's budget. Copies of the preliminary budget are available at City Hall weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 'Hire Smart' to avoid geeing ripped off The Washington Department of Labor and Industries is advising homeowners impacted by the Nov, 17 wind- storm to take precautions before hiring a contractor to cut down damaged trees or make home repairs. Often, ush- ing into selecting a contractor can result in shoddy work by unqualified contractors or even getting Home and business owners should beware of contractors who knock on their door to solicit work. Contractors who ask to be paid in cash or want a check made out to someone other than the business are also red flags. That's why people with storm damage should be sure to hire well-qualified, registered contractors to repair homes and take down damaged trees. State law" requires contractors who take down and remove trees on residential and commercial property to register with L&I. Likewise, construction contractors who repair damaged homes and businesses also must register with L&I. Hiring a registered contractor provides some re- course if things go wrong with the project. If a job is poorly done or unfinished, consumers can seek money from the contractor's bond. Following these "Hire Smart" tips can help people avoid scams and save money. Verify a contractor's registration at www.Protect- call L&I at 1-800-647-0982. Get three written bids. Don't pay in full until the job is done. Plan your holiday travel The Washington State Department of Transpor- scammed, tation is offering some tips and information so that continued from page1 Instead of 50 cents/S1,000 of assessed property value, hom- eowners will be charged 48 cents/S1,000 of their home's value, The amount will generate $260,541 for EMS services, which is still 904, which Schuller said is a "big piece" of Cheney's economic development goals. Other goals for 2016 are negotiation Of a better contract between Eastern Washington University and the city for fire services, and a review of the Build- quests are becoming an increasing impact on the department's time and money resources. The hotel/motel excise tax, one of the separate budgets administered by the department, is a healthy $104,000 and available in 2016 by organizations for posed 2016 budget. Most of the revenues, 55 percent or $485,000, covering those expenses come from the voter-imposed utility tax in 2003. Thirty -one percent, $278,000, comes from rec- reation program fees, and Schuller thinks the depart- ment can do even better on would be travelers over the coming Thanksgiving holiday will be at the dinner table eating turkey rather than on the highway stuck in traffic. The department's website includes sections on the best times to travel as well as information on traffic, weather and, if needed, ferry schedules. There are also tools to keep you informed such as mobile apps, traffic cameras and email alerts. WSDOT information is also available on Twitter and Facebook, as well as the radio by pre-program- ming the vehicle's radio to 530 AM and 1610 AM for highway advisory radio alerts. Drivers should make sure to have the winter driving essentials such as proper chains and traction requirements, and leave for destinations with extra time for holiday and win- ter travel. In the mountains, State Route 20 North Cascades Highway has closed for the winter. On Snoqualmie Pass (elevation 3,022), plan for poss!ble longer ava- lanche control delays this winter as Work to widen Interstate 90 continues. tinues to decline every recovery plan for essen- year." tial records - together Overall, property taxes with daffy financial duties accountfor39percentofthe - are a couple of goals general fund's revenues, for the 10 individuals and $1.672 million in 2016, with $1.16 million budget of sales tax making up 29the city's Finance Depart- percent, projected at $1.25 ment. Niemeier also said million, filling public records re- TOMLINSON Pete Baccarella 509-953-4598 USAF Retired BUY or SELL? m e an increase of $3,599 over ing Department opera-the sole promotion of tour- these fees in 2016 through 2015. tions. Schuller said several ism to the city. Niemeier .increased participation. While the levy lid com- complaints about the per- also said both real estate Schuller said the de- bined with the uptick in mitring process havecome excise tax (REET)accounts partment's programs re- assessed valuation resulted to light recently and need are as healthy as they have main strong, as does its in ildditional revenue to ad&,,essing., been in several years, cur- relationships with Eastern thecity, those were some- Wedon'twantCheney rently already sitting at Washington University what Offset by decreases to be seen as a place that is 2014-year-end totals with and the Cheney School Dis- in other money sources difficult to work with, he two months remaining in trict. Goals for the depart- supporting the general added. 2015. ment in the coming year is [Call us to schedule a tour and fund. The biggest decrease a restructuring of positions, [ consid ssibi!ities for was a forecasted decline of Parks and much needed parks and[ this large space. $45;000 in telephone taxes Finance pool maintenance and re- I Cheney s0g-23S-8485 due to increased usage of Work on integrating Recreation pairs along with increasing cell phones, new reporting require- Thebiggestaccomplish- participation and activity YThat'son land lines," ments along with imple- men tfortheParksandRec- with thecity'siyouth tom-: 're~tff0n~art~ent~2015 ~ssiOn and looking at of- was finally paying off an fering more programs. interfund loan it had with Budget information on the Light Department..Cheney's municipal court, "I'd do cartwheels over police and fire departments this if I could," Schuller will be in next week's is- said. sue. That payment is'no J o h n M c C a 1 - longer an item in the de- lu'm can be reached at partment's $878,600 pro- jmac@chene Administration Portions of depart- ment heads salaries and benefits, along with ad- ministrative maintenance and operations make up a good chunk of the Ad- ministration Department's $831,300 budget. Outside of that, another large expense listed by City Administra- tor Mark Schuller are pay- ments to the state's Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters 1 retirement plan, totaling $162,000. Another sizeable por- tion is the $81,200 Cheney pays to help it advance its interests in the state Legis- lature. One of those is the widening of State Route Photo by John McCallum Coffee talk Sixth District state sen. Michael Baumgartner (right facing) was at Cheney's Mason Jar Nov. 10 for a low-'key, two-hour chat with area residents. Baumgart- net fielded questions and concerns on a number of issues. ~i,ii!iiiiil lore special party, trail| ] I pit tellcHleir Sine dills mella k and four pests, with Hie right priccl LONGHORN TO COME TO We can cater our world famous fixcn's to foul or too snail for our iaucl om= to have Lomlhorm ntcr yoir next cvcuL (live us a call for all four event necdsl !iiiiiii~ Airway Heights 509.838 ~i3~ iiiii!iiil]