Wastewater treatment plant starts operation: Construction on the city’s $44 million wastewater treatment plant finally came to a close, with a grand opening ceremony in May to celebrate the operation. The facility could go through 650,000 gallons of wastewater each day, turning it into class A reclaim water. Built to handle large growth within the city, it can handle a projected maximum of 3 million gallons per day. The project was in development since 2007, when designs began.
Sheriff Knezovich announces Geiger Corrections Center closure: Late April saw an announcement from Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich, detailing the eventual closure of Geiger Corrections Center. The decision stemmed from a need to fill a $10 million budget deficit at the time. The corrections center houses 200 offenders.
Police department receives shared assets from 2010 case: Airway Heights’ police department received $271,105.62 after collaborating with the FBI and the Washington State Patrol on a 2010 raid on Dixon Recycling. As a result, the department was able to upgrade its Taser supplies and purchase some new vehicles. Threat-level entry body armor for officers was also among the purchases made.
Spokane County announces new jail site near airport: In January, Spokane County announced it had found a potential new site for medium-security offenders and other jail operations, to replace Geiger Corrections Center. The location is on Spokane International Airport across from the Waste to Energy Plant, and would continue the relationship the county has with the airport. A new Essential Public Facility siting process took place to factor in the new location, along with others on the West Plains.
8: Dog training program begins at Airway Heights Corrections Center
A new program for both offenders and SpokAnimal began in May. Offenders trained dogs from the organization, in an effort to make them more adoptable, teaching them basic commands and habits. The dogs are with their trainers for nine to 12 weeks. Jail staff noted a difference not only in the dogs in training, but the offenders as well.
9: 70-acre park master planning begins
Land acquired in a deal with Spokane County would develop into a 70-acre park, planned to take shape over the next couple of decades. Initial work would focus on developing a pond for water to recharge the city’s aquifer. Later designs incorporate open spaces for soccer and softball use, along with a dog park. Situated along Deno Road, its location is likely to be more toward the center of the city as population grows in the area in the next several decades.
10: Partnership with Sunset Elementary results in city’s first community garden
A plot of land on Lawson Street in conjunction with Sunset Elementary is now the city’s community garden. The elementary school has a portion of it dedicated for student use, but five beds are available for city residents. Students at the school will use it for some science projects throughout the year.