Cheney to seek own garbage plan


Cheney’s City Council unanimously passed five resolutions at their Nov. 26 meeting, including one authorizing the Public Works Department to opt out of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste Management System and set up a separate plan for the city.

Cheney received a letter from the Spokane County Commissioners notifying the city that the city of Spokane no longer wishes to be a regional provider of solid waste services, and invited Cheney to join in a regional plan. In a summary of the county’s solid waste plan developed by HDR Engineering, the firm recommended the county purchase the Colbert and Spokane Valley transfer stations with a 10-year agreement for disposal at the city’s Waste To Energy plant, a plan that would increase tipping fee costs to municipalities participating in the regional plan from $98 a ton to $107 a ton beginning in 2015.

Cheney Public Works Director Todd Ableman told the council the city was already doing most of the solid waste services itself: curbside pickup, recycling and yard waste. The city has been working on a draft of its own hauling plan with the state Department of Ecology, and the council approved notifying the county it was opting out of the regional plan and moving forward with DOE review and eventual implementation.

Council approved an amendment to the interlocal agreement between the Spokane County Ambulance Service Board, which includes Cheney, and American Medical Response for ambulance service in the city. The agreement decreases the base transport rate in Cheney from $893.64 to $843.64 from Jan. 1, 2014 to Oct. 31, 2016, the second decrease in one and a half years, Fire Chief Mike Winters said.

Council also approved a resolution amending city employees medical reimbursement plan to allow a $500 carryover into the new plan year, something Human Resources Director Mark Schuller had previously been a “use it or lose it” option. Council then approved an interlocal agreement with the county to retain District Court Judge Gregg Tripp as the city’s Municipal Court judge, although the actual contract was tabled because of what Mayor Tom Trulove termed “adjustments” in the contract language to “perfect it.”

Finally, council approved an automatic one-year renewal of the city’s contract with Uniserve Facilities Services Corp. for janitorial services at City Hall, the utility building, police station and Wren Pierson Community Center. The automatic renewal was set up by approval of the original contract December 2011, and allows for any prevailing wage increases, which in 2014 amount to $112.64 per month.

“For once I can say, this is just housekeeping,” Light Director Joe Noland said.

John McCallum can be reached at


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