Cheney Free Press -

By John McCallum

Cheney council adopts 2013 budget


Cheney you have a budget.

City Council members unanimously approved budget ordinance V-99 at their Nov. 27 meeting and in doing so adopted the city’s $23.22 million spending plan for 2013. The council adopted the plan with very little citizen comment at any one of its three budget meetings, nor via other channels, with only a few changes Tuesday night.

Chief among these was a reduction in the $100,000 Light Department’s appropriation request for a remodel of the council chambers and other parts of City Hall. The expenditure included in the department’s $7.98 million budget called for removal of a beam in the council chambers along with extension of the back wall that Light Director Joe Noland said would have increased the room’s seating capacity and generated energy savings.

Noland said after Tuesday’s meeting that he, Mayor Tom Trulove and City Administrator Arlene Fisher discussed the project after questions arose during the Nov. 13 meeting. Because there is some uncertainty regarding the feasibility of the work and what it would require, Noland said it was agreed to reduce the request to $25,000 in order to hire a consultant to study the project. If the study came out favorable, Noland said he could go back to the council for approval and pay for it out of department reserves.

Trulove thanked the work of all those involved in preparing the budget from council members to department heads and city staff. He noted that staff members in particular worked hard in creating a budget smaller than 2012’s $23.3 million appropriation.

“They sharpened their pencils until they were stubs,” Trulove said. “(Having a budget) makes it easier to sleep at night.”

In other action items the council unanimously approved authorizing the Mayor to sign a $103,010 contract with Olsen Brothers Pro-Vac for the wastewater inflow and infiltration project.

The council also gave its authorization to the Parks and Recreation Department to submit online for a grant from the General Mills Foundation. If selected the grant would provide $10,000 to the city for implementation of the “Color Me Healthy” curriculum in area preschools.

According application information, only 50 of the grants are given out each year. “Color Me Healthy” is an “evidence-based program” geared towards preschool children to teach them about physical activity and healthy eating, and is in over 50,000 childcare centers nationally.

Finally the council agreed to Trulove’s suggestion to hold the last regular meeting in December on Thursday, Dec. 20, at 4 p.m.. The meeting usually takes place the fourth Tuesday of the month, which in December is Christmas Day.

John McCallum can be reached at


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