Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

AH looks at mitigating water leaks


Water leakage was the main subject of the April 14 Airway Heights City Council study session.

Clerk-Treasurer Richard Cook presented a draft of an ordinance regarding water leak mitigation. According to Cook, this pertains to citizens who have water leaks on their property but outside of their home.

Under the ordinance, the leak would have to be inspected by a member of the Public Works Department. A water leak mitigation committee would be set up.

The ordinance would also award mitigation for a resident who has a leak that costs them $500 on their utility bill. Cases where the amount is between $500-$2,000 would go to the committee.

Cook explained the mitigated amount for cases would be based on the length of time a resident has lived in the city.

For someone who has lived in Airway Heights for over a year, the committee would use the previous year’s period of billing as the mitigated amount.

A resident who has lived in the city for less than a year would have the average from the previous three months billing used. If citizens have lived in the city for less than three months, the committee would use the base fee plus 1,000 gallons for each person in the household.

Police chief and acting city manager Lee Bennett asked if this would apply to commercial properties and Cook said they could add wording to include commercial properties to make it where properties can receive mitigation only once on their property.

“You have the leak, you fix it and you learn from it,” Cook said.

Mayor Patrick Rushing said the ordinance and mitigation is more for water leaks that are undetected.

“The water would not be used for household or irrigational purposes,” Rushing said. “It’s water that goes back into the aquifer.”

Public Works Director Kelly Williquette brought up a sewer extension work order. Willquette explained this was for the Exotic Metals plant that is being built on the end of Lawson Street on McFarlane Road. The line will be extended from the facility to Russell Street where they will tie into the overflow sewer line. Williquette said the order is for design and engineering and will cost $27,260.

Rushing said this is part of the incentives for Exotic to come in and build their plant in Airway Heights.

The City Council examined drafts for second readings of the ordinances creating a Transportation Benefit District fund, a short lived asset reserve fund and the Community Development Block Grant Consortium agreement. These items will be brought to the April 21 City Council meeting.

Rushing said he met with Spokane Mayor David Condon, Cheney Mayor Tom Trulove and Liberty Lake Mayor Steve Peterson to discuss waste management. Rushing asked Condon if Spokane would offer the small cities the same tipping fees of $54.50 per ton that they offered to the county. He said Condon would have an answer at a later date.

Al Stover can be reached at

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