June 6, 2013 | Vol. 117 -- No. 7

Transportation plan revealed

The city of Airway Heights previewed an annual update to its six-year transportation improvement plan at the Monday, June 3 meeting of the Airway Heights City Council.

Public Works director Kelly Williquette said the items included in the improvement plan were projects the city believed to be of importance and filled a need. One of the items on the list from last year, the Highway 2 sidewalk project, received funding last year. The project will go out for a design bid this year and will be constructed in 2014.

“This is actually one project we can pull off our transportation improvement plan,” Williquette said.

Among the items presented at the public hearing included placing traffic lights at the intersection of Deer Heights Road and Highway 2, on the eastern side of the city. Sixth Avenue will be extended from Aspen Road to Craig Road. Also on the list is constructing a new road, Russell Road, from Eighth Avenue to Sixth Avenue, which is currently a vacant field.

One of the busiest roads in the city, Hayford Road, is slated to receive some major attention if funding is acquired. Williquette said plans are in place to widen the intersection of Hayford Road and Highway 2, as well as widen Hayford south of the highway.

Grinding and placing a new asphalt overlay on Lundstrom Street is expected to cost approximately $423,000. The total for all of the projects comes in at $48 million.

The City Council also held a public hearing regarding an emergency moratorium on medical cannabis dispensaries in the city limits. The hearing was conducted in conjunction with the moratorium’s passage at the April 15 meeting. The City Council is required to hold a hearing within 60 days of passing a moratorium.

Police Chief Lee Bennett said the city had one person interested in opening a dispensary, but they haven’t heard back from them since the initial call.

Among the action items passed at Monday’s meeting were a new animal control service contract with SpokAnimal for $5,642 this year. The majority of the city’s animal control calls involve dogs, and it currently has only one code enforcement officer to handle these and other situations.

Bennett said the contract would allow the officer to better go about his assigned duties of code enforcement.

“His time right now is split between code enforcement and animal control,” City Manager Albert Tripp said.

The city also approved a third change order for the Aspen Grove Park. This change order doesn’t spend money, however, and instead collects a net savings of $7,174.20 for the city. The project’s contractor was able to use local topsoil instead of bringing it out from Spokane Valley, reducing the cost of the project.

On a related note, R&L Landscape Construction received the bid for Aspen Grove Tree Planting for a total of $43,542.21, proceeding with another phase of the park’s construction to add trees in the area.

Also passed at the meeting was a request to repair a pump at the wastewater treatment plant’s lift station. Williquette said water made its way into the pump, which then required fixing. Originally, the project was estimated to cost $17,000, but it was reduced down to $13,085.31 through some in-house work. The repaired part will have a one-year warranty attached to it.

The Parks and Recreation Department named Faith Boyle the winner of the 2013 Arbor Day Poster Contest. Boyle, a student in Beth Contrath’s fourth-grade class at Sunset Elementary, had her poster chosen out of over 200 entries this year.

Also at the meeting, Inland Power and Light presented the city with a check for $250,000, serving as a rebate for energy savings achieved at Airway Heights’ wastewater treatment plant. The savings accumulated over the course of the plant’s first year of operation.

Tripp also announced that public works administrative assistant Daneka Keith was the city’s employee of the quarter, reading excerpts of nomination letters. He also announced Jake Howell as the volunteer of the quarter. Since 2011, Howell has volunteered over 100 hours of his time with soccer programs in the city.

The next City Council meeting will be held Monday, June 17 at 5:30 p.m. in the council chambers.

James Eik can be reached at james@cheneyfreepress.com.

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