April 24, 2014 | Vol. 118 -- No. 1

Medical Lake to reassess state property and buildings

Move is not something ‘written in stone’ but is being explored to help with city’s emergency services funding

Medical Lake City Administrator Doug Ross announced at the April 15 Medical Lake City Council meeting that the city has requested a Spokane County assessor to do an assessment of all of state property and buildings in the city.

Ross explained one of the methods to come up with payments for Emergency Medical Services, fire and police is by using evaluations of property and applying levy rates to that property.

“It’s not something that is written in stone, but it’s something that the mayor and I are exploring,” he said.

Ross said the assessor has already been out and is currently getting numbers. He explained that the assessor is looking at comparable rates of lakefront property and assessing the land with fair market values, as opposed to just vacant land.

Ross said he would share the numbers with the City Council when they come in.

In action items, the council approved reissuing a franchise agreement under Zayo Group, LLC for 15 years for a fiber optic cable. The city granted Avista Fiber Inc. to install a fiber optic cable to serve the Medical Lake School District back in February 1999. Ross explained that Zayo Group, who purchased Avista in 2000, is interested in renewing the agreement.

The council approved E and H Engineering’s contract to write the city’s comprehensive water plan. Ross explained that the city has to update their comprehensive water plan every six years and that Department of Health has to approve the plan in order for the city to operate its water system.

The City Council also approved a resolution that declares Ferguson Enterprises as a sole source vendor for purchasing water meters. Ross said the city passed the resolution purchasing water meters four years ago. He added that one of the reasons for the purchase is because the city has already used most of their “water meter stash.”

Prior to the action items, Judge Richard Kayne presented the annual court update. He said criminal non-traffic cases and DUIs have gone up while non-traffic infractions and parking violations are the same as they were last year. Kayne said criminal traffic cases and traffic infractions have gone down.

The City Council approved the acceptance of a Washington State Trauma Needs Grant — in the amount of $1,473 — for the Fire Department. Fire Chief Jason Mayfield said he would like to use it to replace training equipment.

Ross announced Medical Lake received a Well City Award from the Association of Washington Cities. He explained the city will get 2 percent off the medical insurance premiums they pay on employees starting in 2015. He also commended Parks and Recreation director Ashlee King for her work on acquiring the award.

The council approved the second reading of Ordinance-1035, which provides certain animal provisions of the revised code of Washington and Spokane County Code. As a condition of the agreement Medical Lake has entered into with Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Services (SCRAPS), the city must adopt the provisions into its own municipal code.

Councilman Art Kulibert asked about changing some of the wording to allow cat owners to use breakaway collars and microchips, as the council agreed to do the first reading of the ordinance. Kulibert added that the ordinance seems to “be out of date” and does not address the microchipping and breakaway collars. He recommended the city ask the county to review the ordinance for updating.

City attorney Cynthia McMullen said the city’s ordinance would encourage and educate citizens to do microchipping, but the city cannot amend the county’s ordinance. She said the city could ask the county to view the ordinance.

Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com.

Reader Comments

(0)