In addition to hearing from Spokane County and its pursuit of approving Proposition 1 in the November election, at its Oct. 17 meeting the Medical Lake City Council heard from the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS) on its plans for 2014.
Under the interlocal agreement, Medical Lake and other cities across Spokane County would be united in their animal control laws. For some jurisdictions, like Medical Lake, it would mean being charged just once for a three-year contract instead of facing a charge each time an animal control instance arises within the city. Additionally, cities would give up their licensing renewal fees.
“From the city's perspective, it's totally worth it to do this,” City Administrator Doug Ross said.
SCRAPS is moving into its new building (the former home to Harley Davidson) on Trent Avenue in April next year, making it more centrally located than right now. The organization hopes to implement the interlocal agreements once moved into the facility, in order to create a cohesive set of regulations across the county. Currently, each jurisdiction can create their own set of animal control laws, which leads to different standards across the county.
Following the SCRAPS discussion, the City Council approved its annual work contract with the Department of Corrections, which uses offenders from Airway Heights Corrections Center throughout the city.
Ross also mentioned the city would need to look at its Waste-to-Energy agreement in the next year, as it expires in November 2014. Spokane County, which is taking over the plant’s operation after the decades-long operating agreement set up in the 1980s comes to a close. Cities can pursue their own waste management options, but must at least notify the county of their intent one year in advance.
“This gives you the opportunity to see if there is a more affordable way to haul your waste,” he said.
When the contract ends, cities who had indicated their desire to pursue other options can still sign a new service agreement with the county.
Also approved at the City Council meeting was a request from the Medical Lake School District to have a bonfire during its homecoming rally on the lower baseball fields Wednesday, Oct. 16 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. The item required council approval as it goes against the city’s burning ban. According to the district’s request letter, last year’s bonfire was canceled due to growing fire danger.
One item tabled at the meeting was the first reading of Ordinance 1030, which would prohibit the feeding of deer within city limits.
Coming up at the Tuesday, Nov. 5 City Council meeting is a public hearing for the 2014 budget and a possible increase in EMS levy taxes and regular property taxes.
Mayor John Higgins said a survey would be going out in the city’s seasonal newsletter, inquiring opinions regarding curbside recycling in Medical Lake. The issue has come up sporadically throughout the year, particularly following a change from using Waste Management to Sunshine Disposal at the city’s recycling center.
James Eik can be reached at email@example.com.