Legislature includes $2.7 million for purchasing land in Fairchild Air Force Base flight path
Airway Heights received some welcome news late last week from the Washington state Legislature regarding the state budget.
City Manager Albert Tripp said the Legislature included $2.7 million for purchasing land in Accident Potential Zone Two. Included in the land is residential property that resides in the flight path to Fairchild Air Force Base.
“This is a huge win for the region and also for the city,” Tripp said at the Monday, July 1, City Council meeting.
The city and other non-profit agencies are currently in the process of building alternative housing for the area’s residents. Some residents have already accepted offers to move out of the area, which consists of mobile homes and stick-built homes.
Spokane County has an option to purchase the property, so they will be the body receiving the funds. The land, when purchased, will still be subject to Airway Heights’ municipal zoning regulations and any future use, Tripp said, will follow with what’s consistent between the city and county.
Airway Heights has a similar arrangement with the county right now at Spokane County Raceway Park. It’s been suggested that the land would likely be best suited for an industrial company. Mayor Patrick Rushing has said in the past aerospace manufacturing would be good for the area as well.
Also at the City Council meeting, Spokane County Library District presented some information it collected during community forums, including one in Airway Heights, as well as the organization’s goals in the near future.
The library started an extra day of service, Wednesday, in October last year, due to a 38 percent increase in Airway Heights cardholders over the last five years. Among the areas the library hopes to expand in include helping job seekers with resume preparation and sources for job openings.
The Airway Heights Friends of the Library group’s work was highlighted at the meeting, noting that a number of puzzles and games were purchased thanks to the group’s efforts.
The City Council also passed a number of action items at the meeting, including an amendment to its agreement for services with the Department of Corrections. Tripp said the original agreement, which was started in 2000, provides EMS and fire services to the Airway Heights Corrections Center. An amendment will end this latest renewal in 2017, which lines up with the state budget.
Also, the City Council approved a task order with Sunburst Engineering, the city’s transportation engineer, to develop a mitigation plan at the Hayford Road and Highway 2 intersection.
“This council is aware that this particular intersection suffers from a varying degree of transportation challenges such as congestion, accidents and pedestrian issues,” Tripp said.
The agreement, which was unanimously approved by the City Council, has a total cost of $14,400.
The city’s Police Department was also set to surplus two Ford Crown Victoria vehicles to the Sauk-Suiattle Tribe in Darrington, Wash. Police Chief Lee Bennett said the vehicles had 170,000 miles on them and the city would only be spending more money on repairs in the future if they weren’t taken out of service.
James Eik can be reached at email@example.com.