By BECKY THOMASStaff Reporter
The Cheney City Council mourned longtime council member Mike McKeehan at its Tuesday meeting.
McKeehan, a 14-year council member, died suddenly July 19. Mayor Tom Trulove spoke about McKeehan's impact on Cheney, and spoke to his wife Judy, who was in the audience.
“Your family together has made this community much better than it was before you were a family together,” he said. “It's a loss that's hard to accept but there's nobody who lived a better life or could claim to accomplish more in it than Mike McKeehan.”
City administrator Arlene Fisher thanked the firefighters in attendance for their work responding to McKeehan's death.
“You gentlemen and your professionalism last Thursday was beyond and above,” she said. “It's very hard and it's very difficult and you showed unwavering professionalism and you did your job so well.”
While council members were moved by the remembrances of McKeehan, Trulove led the council “on to the business of government,” he said.
The council handled a light agenda at the meeting, approving applications for transportation grants as well as a $307,000 bid for drainage and grading services for the 50-acre park. The bid, which included grading, storm drain installation, sidewalks, site preparation, and construction of a basketball court, went to Half Moon Construction and Leasing.
The council also approved an application for a National Parks planning grant through the Parks and Recreation and Community Development departments. Department heads Paul Simmons and Brian Jennings said the grant would fund consultants to develop a vision for unifying the area's outdoor recreation areas.
“The idea is to get all the stakeholders and develop some kind of a vision for this area,” Jennings said. “How do we unite this area to work together to get improved access?”
Also at the meeting, the council approved the sale of a police car that was retrofitted into a barbecue grill last year. Fisher said that former Cheney Police Chief Jeff Sale, now police chief in Bend, Ore., made the city an offer to sell the car to the city of Bend.
The barbecue car, retrofitted with around $10,000 in police funds last year, was intended for use at community gatherings in Cheney to improve visibility and accessibility with the police.
“We don't really have the staff here in Cheney to use that car as it's meant to be used,” Fisher said.
Becky Thomas can be reached at email@example.com.