Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

ML council talks water, roads and garbage


The Medical Lake City Council discussed several issues at their March 18 meeting.

City Administrator Doug Ross announced that he and Mayor John Higgins attended a meeting with several other mayors in Spokane County, March 13, to discuss solid waste management. Ross said the city is in a “good spot” as Sunshine Disposal and Recycling has a transfer station not owned by Spokane County. He added that Sunshine would provide numbers in October and the city will adjust their garbage rates based on the figures they receive.

Ross assured the council that citizens could take their trash to the Waste to Energy Plant, but there may be a different charge. He also said that Sunshine would make their transfer station available for citizens who want to do their own hauling.

“If you self-haul, you will have a place to take it,” Ross said. “Will it be the most convenient spot? Maybe not, but I think our first responsibility to those folks that require we have garbage service here.”

Higgins said if the rates go down, the city could take “another shot” at curbside recycling.

During committee reports, Councilman Howard Jorgensen said the city has been busy trying to fix potholes in the roads. According to Ross, some of the roads have been damaged due to the moisture the city has received in the last few weeks, though the condition has gotten better as the weather has dried up. Maintenance crews have also been patching the roads and replacing the water meters.

One citizen was concerned about the heavy trucks damaging the roads and “not abiding” the weight limits signs posted by the city. Ross said that not every truck is overweight and because the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department has lost personnel, officers have been unable to come out to Medical Lake and enforce the weight limits.

Higgins said there have been recommendations to dig up some of the roads and turn them into gravel. He said the city would have to figure out what to do to fix some of the roads long-term.

Ross said the city might need to ask the citizens for money, as the city does not have a revenue source for fixing the streets.

“It’s not just our issue, it’s everybody’s issue,” Ross said. “We may have to do a specific program and ask the voters to fund that.”

Ross said many of the roads are asphalt and hopes to get “5-10 years out of those roads.”

The only action items approved by the council were a proposed Comprehensive Plan Amendment and the land-use change of a nine-acre plot, from SR 902 to Jim Darby Drive, from multi-family residential (R3) to single family residential (R1).

Glenn Scholten, former Medical Lake planner, said the request came from PTC LLC owner Mat Hume, who wishes to build 54 single-family units. The commission considered the request and felt it met all of the requirements.

Ross said with SCOPE out of the old funeral home, the building is now open. He asked the council to come up with ideas as to see what they would like done with the structure in the future. He brought up the idea of selling the property after removing the buildings. Higgins said SCOPE would operate at City Hall.

Ross said he and Higgins met with Dr. John Wiesman, Washington state Secretary of Health, to discuss water issues. Ross said they discussed the challenges of Medical Lake operating their own water system and showed him the Craig Road well.

Ross announced that Jessica Roberts resigned from her position as Medical Lake court administrator to take a position with Spokane Superior Court as the judicial assistant to Judge Linda Tompkins.

Al Stover can be reached at


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