Cheney Free Press -


Public works dominates council


Cheney Mayor Tom Trulove called it “The Todd Show.”

Public Works Director Todd Ableman did seem to command center stage at the Cheney City Council’s Tuesday night meeting, presenting an array of projects that ranged from street repairs to water meter replacement.

The council first approved two resolutions pertaining to a $325,100 preservation project of North Sixth Street from Betz Road to Oak Street. Eighty-six percent of the work is being funded through a grant from the federal Surface Transportation program, including asphalt resurfacing, sidewalk repairs for ADA compliance and crack sealing.

The first resolution established a project timeline while the second released $22,500 for preliminary engineering.

“That will get the design started this year with the idea of going out for construction bids next year,” Ableman told the council.

The council approved a $110,374 contract with Badger Metering for supplying an estimated 426 new electronic water meters that the city will swap out with existing meters over the course of the year. Ableman said for several years they had wanted to do a contract that would lock in replacement meter prices over the long term.

The council also approved a $57,173 contract with Specialty Pump to rehabilitate the motor and pump assemblies in city water wells No. 1 and No. 2. The work deals with pump removal, motor inspection and repair, pump disassembly, cleaning and reassembly along with disinfection and flushing. Ableman said the work has nothing to do with the well itself or the water.

The council also approved a resolution to surplus the city’s crack sealer, offering it at a minimum bid price of $18,000. Ableman said the sealer was purchased with the intent of city crews doing crack sealing, but after finding out the department didn’t have the time nor manpower to properly do the work, it was decided to get rid of the virtually new sealer.

“We’re not ignoring crack sealing,” Ableman said. “We want to do crack sealing but it really takes 6-7 guys to do crack sealing so we are going out to bid.”

For the third time in the past two-plus months the council approved an interlocal agreement with the Spokane Regional Transportation Council regarding new SRTC board rules and requirements, the past two because of revisions made by Spokane’s City Council. Cheney still retains a permanent seat on the board.

Finally the council approved a resolution from Parks and Recreation Director Paul Simmons allowing the department to transition to a newer more user-friendly registration system called Rec One.

John McCallum can be reached at


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