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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
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December 1, 2016     Cheney Free Press
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December 1, 2016
 

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NEWS ey council ad By JOHN McCALLUM Local 270-S does include a 2 percent wage increase for Editor the coming year. Schuller said the contract affects only The Cheney City Council has approved a new con- eight city employees who are members of the 270-S tract for the city's union employees, but only for one bargaining unit. year. The council also unanimously approved two other City Administrator Mark Schuller told the council contracts at its last meeting in November. The first was at its Nov. 22 meeting that the reason for the shorter an agreement with the state Department of Natural time period, rather than the typical three to four year Resources for mutual fire support. contracts of the past, boils down to medical benefits. Fire Department Battalion Chief Bill Dennstaedt Mainly what will happen with the federal Affordable said currently, if a fire occurred on city property near Care Act now that Republicans, who have tried to repeal the wastewater treatment plant, for instance, the DNR the law known as Obamacare, hold both chambers of would respond but only in protection of nearby DNR Congress and the White House. lands. Under the new contract, the agency would be able In an email, Schuller said the cit r's current medical to assist the Fire Department, if requested, in combating plans through the Association of Washington Cities the fire on city land as well. Benefits Trust were considered "Cadillac Plans," under The contract will also allow city fire crews to take part the ACA and were subject to a steep tax. Because of that, in regional (Washington-Oregon) fire mobilizations, and the AWC is discontinuing the plans, forcing Cheney and be better reimbursed for its efforts. other cities to consider other medical packages. " The council also approved a one-year, $53,420 con- "The current plans could go away in 2018," Schuller tract with Uniserve Facilities Services Corporation for told the council, adding the city and union decided to janitorial services at four city buildings. The agreement take a"wait and see" approach on what direction Wash- provides for four, one-year extensions, arid an annual ington D.C. will go when it comes to health care. deep cleaning of the floors at City Hall, the Utilities The new contract with AFSCME (American Fed-Building, Police Station and the Wren Pierson Com- eration of State, County and Municipal Employees) munity Center. CHENEY FREE PRESS 1 1 Thursday, December 1,2016 Uniserve was one of two bidders for the contract, and was currently providing cleaning services through a contract entered with the city in January. City staff recommended, and council obliged, rejection of a third contract On the agenda for annual pruning and removal of trees near the city's electrical distribution system. Light Department Director Steve Boatman told the council they received two bids on the 2017 line clearance contract, one of which was deemed unresponsive and the other not competitively priced. When Councilman John Taves asked what that bid was, Boatman declined to reveal the amount. "I think we'd like to keep that a competitive process and not advertise that," he added. The city had previously contracted with American Utility and Residential Tree Service in 2014. That contract was for $45,000 annually, and included two, one-year extensions. Finally, the council held the first reading of the 2017 budget ordinance. Finance Director Cindy Niemeier said the $24.34 million budget represents revenues and expenses for 27 different departments. John McCaUurn can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress. com. FROM STAFF AND The open house takes boundary limits. This study Majority Leader began in NEWS SOURCES place from 5 - 8 p.m. at the emphasizes low-cost strat- 2014, winning election to Public invited No.hCentralH gh ool egies to efficiently move the role after the departure cafeteria,1600 North How- traffic on the existing sys- of Sen. Rodney Tom, D- to discuss area ard St. in Spokane. Staff tern that improves safety Medina, whose assistance fromtheWas "hmgtonState and addresses transporta- in creating the Majority 1-90 congestion Department of Transpor- tion deficiencies. Coalition Caucus gave Re- The public is invited tation will be on hand to publicans the majority in to learn the details of listen to public feedback on theSenate. the upcoming Interstate improving safety and op- Schoesler The Majority Leader 90/Four Lakes to Idaho erations of the freeway and elected to is responsible for estab- operational study at an answer questions about lishing and implementing informational open house the study. There will be no Maj a r ity general legislative policies Tuesday, Dec. 13. formal presentation, and and caucus priorities. As 1-90 in the Spokane area the public is free to stop in Leader term such, Schoesler will con- is experiencing increased, anytime during the openOLYMPIA-Inaunani- Unue to serve as the spa regular congestion, primar- house, mous vote Nov. 15 among kespersonforthecaucuson ily during peak commute WSDOT contracted the members of the Senate legislative policy matters hours. Congestion outside with engineering firmDKS Majority Coalition Caucus, and will serve as the rank- of peak periods is also on Associates to assist with a 9th District stateSen. Mark ing member of the Senate the rise. This congestion study focused on improv- Schoesler was re-elected to Rules Committee. increases the possibility of ing safety and operations a second term as Majority "I'm honored that collisions occurring on the of the existing freeway Leader. my caucus continues to freeway, through the expanded Schoesler's first term as put their trust in me to lead the Senate majority," Schoesler has repre- Schoesler, R-RitzvilIe, said. sented the 9th District in "We have a big year ahead the House and Senate for of us with fully funding 23 years. The 9th is among education, promoting con- the largest in our state, tinued job growth and covering all or part of six building a four-year bal- counties in eastern and anced budget." southeastern Washington. We Prouide Family Peace of Mind! How may we serve you? We are available 24/7 for: Meal prep, light housekeeping Grocery si~oppLng, errands Personal Care Medication Reminders Companionship Transportation continued from page 1 _. training to support those discrimination,, bullying " studer/ts~ or vandalism on cam- which include accessibil- The board received pus. When asked about ity and inclusion." the petition on Nov. 17 clarification in includ- "Since our incep- and discussed it at length ing "vandalism" in the tion, the university has during an executive ses- board's statement, chair worked to ensure our sion. During its Nov.Jim Murphy pointed out campus is a safe learn- 18 meeting, the boardthe recent vandalism that ing environment for ev- took comments from happened at the Martin ery student and a safe students, staff and cam- Luther King Jr. Fam- workplace for all faculty munity members to hear ily Outreach Center in and staff," the statement their concerns. Many Spokane. read. "This will always who spoke supported "It's a current enough be a top priority." making Eastern a sanctu- issue," Murphy said. The petition, which arycampus, while othersThe University also received over 500 signa- expressed concern at the reaffirms its commitment tures, has 10 requests, lack of cultural under- to protecting the "safety, Among those are as- standing in classrooms, security and well-be- signing administration To help make Eastern ing of students and staff responsibility for coun- a more inclusive campus, regardless of their immi- seling undocumented, staff has planned three gration status, within the DACA, people of color, President's Dialogueslimits ofthelaw." Muslim and LGBTQ stu-on Diversity workshops While Eastern, a state dents on their situation between January and agency, cannot prohibit on a strictly confiden June 2017. The campus is federal officers from en- tial basis and "reaffirm encouraging public par- tering the campus, it the university's commit- ticipation at those events, will do everything in its ment to create a campus The university is also in power to ensure they atmosphere of respectthe process of hiring a respect andsupport"our by denouncing the hate vice president for diver- mission to educate and speech" toward those sity and inclusion, transform the lives all students. The board affirmed our students." It also asks that fac- there will be zero tol- The university also ulty and staff receive erance for harassment, complies with federal laws that provide legal protection for students' education records, in- cluding information about their immigration status. EWU staff is also working with the state Attorney General's Of- fice to see what it can do to legally protect stu- dents. AI Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress. COm." 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