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Cheney Free Press
Cheney , Washington
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December 17, 2015     Cheney Free Press
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December 17, 2015
 

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CHENEY FREE PRESS Thursday, December 17, 2015 ru rnil By PAUL DELANEY Staff Reporter Between offering pointers on inventory and billing to his new bookkeeper, Cheney hard- ware store owner Tom Jarms marveled that it's hard to believe his Ace store has been in its new location for nearly two years. "We started moving on Dec.15, 2013," Jarms said of his current store, the third location at which he has worked in the family business started by his father, Ron, in 1972. The new space, formerly the Ben Franklin store, gives off the illusion of being much larger, but that's due to the ceiling being higher and the layout. "We went up about 20 percent in sales floor," Jarms said. Jarms guessed that the original store loca- tion, owned by the Edgett Brothers, was maybe 6,000 square feet. His previous space, now oc- cupied by a CHAS clinic, was 14,500 with the current store at 18,500 square feet. The old location was wider and this one deeper, Jarms explained. The other building was nearly 200 feet wide, this is only 150, but the spacious feel comes from a couple of fac- tors. The more square shape of the building al- lowed Jarms to offer longer aisles. "There's a lot of effort put into how to get layouts to work for you," he added. There's an illusion the new building has cre- ated. "We get people in all the time, 'Well you've doubled your space,'" Jarms said. "I'd love to think so, we've got 20-foot ceilings instead of 12." The new location allowed Jarms to increase inventory, but the key is it "Lays out better," he said. It's easier to shop, he's been told, and the additional parking has been a notable fac- tor, too. "We didn't have the sales yard, the fenced area before," Jarms said. "We had no place to keep anything overnight, we had to keep it out on the lot, or wheel it in." Sales are up significantly. "We needed to have about a 50-percent growth from where we were over the course of the first five years because the full mortgage kicks in at the end of the first five years. That's looking pretty good," Jarms said. The additional outside area, plus the parking Photo by Paul Delaney Tom Oarms move to a bigger location for his Ace Hardware store has been a successful one. lot made it possible for Jarms to become a U-Haul dealer, and his lumber selection - the only one in miles -- has expanded a little, he said. There's a big jump, Jarms said, from being where he is at, providing what he called "con- venience lumber," - the guy who needs a few 2 X 4s or a few sheets of plywood to contrac- tors who are buying truckloads. "There's a big jump there." Jarms said he had to be careful in deciding where and what to make larger. "Every category got a little bit," he said. "So it was not like there was a lot more room for lumber." Another notable addition was the Sears Craftsman line of tools they began carrying when they became an Ace store in 2013. Jarms has been in Cheney since 1972 when Cheney City Council gives Harvest Bluff' second phase th go ah d By JOHN MCCALLUM Editor Cheney's City Coun- cil has approved con- struction of the second phase of the Harvest Bluff development at the northwest corner of Betz and Murphy roads. Phase two will pro- vide 24 more homes on lot sizes ranging from 6,600 to 12,143 square feet in the subdivision. Public Works Direc- tor Todd Ableman told the council at their Dec. 8 meeting that the con- tractor, Copper Basin Construction, had in- stalled all the necessary infrastructure for the second phase. According to planning documents, that infrastructure in- cludes an access onto a section of Murphy Road to the east owned by Spokane County and undeveloped. Ableman said they had hoped to make im- provements to Murphy Road included in the second phase approval, but were unable to come to an agreement with the contractor. The city hopes to include those in phase three later in 2016. John McCal- lum can be reached at jmac@cheneyfreepress. com. EWU launches crowdfunding platform ,.,.iii iii iiii By AL STOVER Kelli Hills, assistant di- I ve always had a Staff Reporter rector, of annual giving for philosophy that it's bet- i! ~i~i Eastern Washington EWU s Alumni Advance- ter to make money for ;~i]i!:~li!~i~ii~J~!fii!~i University staff and alumni ment office, said the idea ,,the university, Hills said. i~i!iiii ii have created a newway for to create a crowdfunding Fortunately, the chair of campus clubs and groups platform for the university the computer science de- to raise funds for various began five years ago. She partment, Tom Capaul is endeavors. EWU's Alumni Asso- ciation and Associated Stu- dents of Eastern Washing- ton University (ASEWU) recently announced the launch of FundEWU, a crowdfunding platform similar to KickStarter and GoFundMe that raises money for a department- or student-led campaign. said crowdfunding sites like KickStarter were more for businesses and did not have the specific platform Eastern was looking for. While some colleges like University of Vermont and University of Maryland had created thekr own funding platforms, Hills said EWU wanted something that was homegrown, also the alumni association president. We talked with Tom about it and later we went to classrooms and recruited three students to build this (FundEWU) for their capstone project." Hills said the process took two quarters to com- plete and the students, See EWU page 9 iiiiiiii~ ...................................... ~ ............................................................................................................. ~:~ iiii ili i iill ~iiiiiiil ii i~ii iiiiiiii ili ii ill ! ~I [i~il ~ I~l~i~ his father moved the family and purchased Edgett Hardware when he was 10-years-old. He worked in the store as a kid and up through college. His brother, Bill, owns a pump business that was once housed at the original store. He left college, entered the Army for a four- year hitch, was discharged and went to work at the Ernst chain for a couple of years. Jarms then went to work for an Ace store in Lake- wood, Wash. near Tacoma where he met his wife, Charlene, in 1989. The two were married a year later. "When I told my folks we were getting mar- ried, Dad offered me a job so home we came," Jarms said. Hardware stores seem to have a soft spot for some customers because of the generally knowledgeable staff. Jarms said when he looks for employees, "You can teach them skills but you can't teach them attitude/' He looks for employees who have a posi- tive attitude and are bright and cheerful. "If you get someone who is down in the mouth or glum they are not going to connect well with customers," Jarms said. As for the hardware business-side, he does not require a lot of knowledge. "The more the better," he said. "And obviously if you get somebody that's a little more mature your odds of getting somebody (with knowledge) goes up." Since the day Jarms arrived back to Cheney in 1990, he was employee No. 6. "Dad felt like he was overstaffed at that point," Jarms said. "Now we're at 21." Paul Delaney can be reached at pdelaney@cheneyfreepress, com.