Cheney Free Press -



Cheney council agenda mostly FYI

Information items on Cheney’s inclusion on county’s site selector website and upcoming Friends of Turnbull event presented


Cheney’s final City Council meeting in February was long – relatively – on information items and short on action.

Council members were briefed by Spokane County GIS manager Ian Van Essen and Greater Spokane Incorporated vice president for business development Robin Toth on being included in a tool the city hopes will help land some new businesses more industrial in nature. The city is now part of the Spokane Regional Site Selector Consortium of jurisdictions that have some of their properties listed on the Spokane Site Selection website.

Van Essen noted in his presentation that 8-9 years ago companies looking to relocate or build new facilities relied on site visits about 60 percent of the time and information gathered remotely about 40 percent. Today that has shifted to about 80 percent of information on available locations collected without essentially even leaving one’s office chair.

“The number one tool is a website,” Van Essen said.

The Site Selector website features a variety of data that companies can use once a site, provided by local real estate agents, is found. Parcel information, maps, as well as demographic and business reports, with specific census information within various distances of the site, can be created for study.

“It’s been a great tool for us,” Greater Spokane Incorporated’s Toth said.

Toth said the regional chamber of commerce receives quarterly reports on the listed sites and who has been looking at them. She noted that one company recently had been using the website to look at Cheney’s vacant Commerce and Industrial Park, and congratulated the city on being the first in the county to have such a facility, completed in fall 2009, listed as a certified site ready for building construction.

In another information item, Four Lakes resident Katherine Ryf briefed the council and handed out invitations to the upcoming Friends of Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge’s dinner and auction. The dinner and auction takes place Saturday, April 13, from 5-8 p.m. at the Wren Pierson Community Center and will be catered by Klink’s Restaurant from Williams Lake.

General admission for the dinner and auction is $35, with children under age 12 free, and can be purchased online at

In the evening’s only action item the council unanimously approved receipt of a $655 grant from the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs reimbursing the city for purchase of a scanner and a printer that were installed in Police Department patrol vehicles.

Finally, Fire Chief Mike Winters presented the first ever Firefighter Resident of the Year award to Drew Ableman. Winters said Ableman, a 2009 Cheney High School graduate, met all of the criteria for dedication, respect, honest, teamwork and appreciation.

John McCallum can be reached at


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