Cheney Free Press -


Staff Reporter 

AH sales tax rate change takes effect


At the April 8 Airway Heights City Council meeting, Clerk-Treasurer Richard Cook announced that the retail sales tax rate change went into effect at the beginning of the month.

Back in November 2013, citizens voted to pass a sales tax increase from 8.7 to 8.9 percent to provide funding for a Transportation Benefit District (TBD) in the city.

Cook said the city would start receiving the funds from the tax increase in June. The money will be deposited into a TBD fund and used for transportation projects. During the meeting, the City Council saw the first reading of an ordinance to create the fund.

Mayor Patrick Rushing asked Cook when the city could start using the money to plan for projects. City Manager Albert Tripp said Public Works Director Kelly Williquette is working on a TBD preservation plan for streets.

Prior to Cook’s announcement, Tripp said the multi-jurisdictional solid waste management request for proposals (RFP) that Airway Heights entered in with Millwood, Deer Park and Liberty Lake, went out March 27 and will be returned May 8. The cities will then evaluate the proposals.

Tripp added that the city received a notice from Spokane County, asking cities that want to participate in the county’s system to sign and pass their agreements by the end of April. He said this conflicts with Airway Heights’ current course as the RFPs would not be evaluated until after the county’s deadline. Tripp said he would bring this matter to the March 14 study session.

“This poses a concern because part of the reason for the RFP is to see which vendors have the most competitive prices,” Tripp said.

The council approved the re-appointment of Jack Grady to the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee (LTAC), as well as the appointment of Dan Garcia to the LTAC.

Garcia is thepresident of the Thunderbird Car Club in Spokane and has been hosting a car show in Airway Heights for 30 years. He said he wants to help bring in more family friendly events to the city.

The City Council saw the first readings of several ordinances: Ordinance C-826, which creates a short-lived asset reserve fund to pay for materials for the wastewater reclamation plant; Ordinance C-828, which reduces the general facility connection charges as an incentive to private developers and nonprofit organizations who want to build affordable housing for the city and Ordinance C-829, which establishes conditions for domestic cat management in the city.

The City Council approved Resolution 2014-008, which designates April 25 as Arbor Day for the city. Parks, Recreation and Community Services Supervisor J.C. Kennedy said Arbor Day activities would include the planting of 50 trees at Aspen Grove Park, April 26.

Al Stover can be reached at


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