By JAMES EIK
Lightning storms charging through the region last Monday night knocked out three water wells in Medical Lake, two of which belonged to the state.
The city's well, one of three that lost power, had a reserve generator that mitigated any loss of service. City Administrator Doug Ross said the well's functionality was most likely interrupted by a power surge. Although the city's well recovered quickly, the state's well was still inoperable when the Tuesday, July 17 City Council meeting took place.
“It was pretty amazing,” Ross said of the storm.
Water was shut off to city parks, and Ross asked the school district to do the same for fields and other large areas that may need watering. Until the state's well returns to life, some parks may experience dryness.
“As soon as that well gets back online, we'll get to watering the parks again,” he said.
The City Council approved the city's shoreline master plan, which includes some rejuvenation projects built in to help revitalize shorelines long Medical Lake. Among the items for revitalization include work at Peper Park to reduce the intrusion of geese in the area. Part of the remedies involve placing signage around the park to discourage feeding of the geese.
Some work in the revitalization plan has already been accomplished, with placing wraps around trees on the lake in an attempt to prevent beavers from chewing away at the bark. Photos shown throughout the development process detailed the declining health of some trees in the area.
A strip of land, which contains mostly wetlands, located in a former railroad right of way was put up for sale at the meeting. Three adjacent property owners would be given the first opportunity to purchase the land, which Ross said had little value to the city, given its landscape.
The City Council also approved an initial bid for a sidewalk along SR 902, from Stanley Street and going to the north. Ross said the item was on the agenda in order to begin work by Aug. 1.
Councilman Art Kulibert said the month of June saw a record number of calls for the city's volunteer fire department, most of which were medical in nature. He also added that there were no fire incidents on the Fourth of July. Councilwoman Brenda Redell said the fireworks stands had notices posted on their site, and were placing them into bags of purchased items.
Ross said the morning after the Fourth of July saw residents coming out to help clean up with brooms. Sweep vehicles were out as well, picking up some of the larger pieces from the evening's celebration.
Mayor John Higgins said the city's new finance director would begin their job Monday, Aug. 6, replacing retiring finance director Pam McBroom.
During the citizens comment portion of the meeting, resident Kent Reitmeier asked that the city once again make sure that homes are receiving notices for backflow testing. He said some homes in the area weren't receiving them, while he and others were regularly receiving the notices. Higgins said the city had checked on homes in the area, finding only one home hadn't received the notice.
Councilman Jeff King said homes that have certain types of permits and pump systems may prevent the maintenance department from knowing to send a notice out.
At the end of the meeting, the City Council went into executive session to discuss the qualifications of a person for a position.
James Eik can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.