Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Eliminating middle men

Medical Lake garbage billing could transfer to Sunshine Disposal


The Medical Lake City Council is considering a change in how it handles garbage billing, which should facilitate customer service if passed.

Currently, City Hall handles garbage billing for Medical Lake, based on information Sunshine Disposal sends to the city. As a result, if a resident has questions on their bill, they first go to City Hall, which then asks Sunshine Disposal the same question. City Administrator Doug Ross said a representative from Sunshine would be at the next City Council meeting to discuss the potential of transferring the billing process away from City Hall.

“We just want to see if that’s a possibility,” Ross said at the July 16 council meeting.

Ross said the customer service level should increase if residents had questions about their bill that went directly to the source, instead of having City Hall act as a middleman in the process.

“I think they (customers) would probably be better served if they went directly to the people actually billing them for that,” he said.

There likely wouldn’t be any financial savings from transferring the billing to Sunshine.

An amendment to the City Wellness Policy added a section to support breastfeeding mothers. The item sets aside a specific space in City Hall for nursing mothers, as required by the Association of Washington Cities WellCity Award. Cities winning the award receive a 2-percent premium discount on their health insurance.

During the public comment period, Tammy Roberson asked if there was a way to stop some of the bigger industrial trucks from going through the city via Brooks Road. Roberson noted that there are several families living in the area with younger children and the trucks, which travel pretty quick, pose a significant danger.

The City Council discussed potential options for a short-term solution, including having some representatives from the county’s weights and measurements office on-hand to inspect trucks. Brooks Road leading into Medical Lake allows for heavy truck use, but inside the city limits it isn’t allowed on that stretch of road. Earlier this year, Brooks Road was patched in several places to alleviate some damage on the roadway.

Ross said the municipal court’s first online payment took place in the past month, with someone using the nCourt system. The new online payment is part of an upgrade in the city to allow for online bill payments. Online bill pay for residents’ municipal utilities will be available in two to three months.

Also at the meeting, the City Council approved the first reading of updates to its building codes. The last time codes were updated was in 2009, after a regular update from the state.

“The state updates building codes every three years,” Ross said.

On the parks and recreation front, two outdoor movies are planned for this summer: “Hook” and “Remember the Titans.” This marks the second year of Medical Lake’s foray into summer movies, which got off to a strong start last year.

Toward the end of the meeting, Councilman Jorgenson also proposed a draft resolution to inform the public about feeding deer.

James Eik can be reached at


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