Cheney Free Press -



Council approves Cheney street work

Over $700,000 of paving, sidewalk repair and waterline replacement this summer


Transportation was the name of the game in action items at the Cheney City Council’s June 24 meeting. And with that, city residents should expect to see a lot of Shamrock Paving gear around town.

The Spokane-based company secured three contracts for street and arterial work this summer, the biggest being the North Sixth Street Preservation Project. Shamrock was by far the lowest of three bidders on the work from Oak Street to Betz Road, coming in at a total of $494,595 — over $90,000 less than the next bidder.

The $380,118 street and sidewalk work will be covered mostly by federal funding, while $105,315 of waterline work will be paid for through a Community Development Block Grant, with the city providing some matching funds on both. Public Works Director Todd Ableman said he was pleased with all the bids.

“They were well under the engineer’s estimate,” he told the council.

In approving the contract, the council authorized an appropriation amount of $534,900, which includes taxes and 10 percent for contingencies. Shamrock was also the lowest bidder of three on Cheney’s Residential Street Project, coming in at $205,762. The project, paid for via local taxes, includes paving work on Bethany Street from Betz to Simpson Parkway and sidewalk replacement on Second Street from H to C streets.

Shamrock also received an $89,762 change order to the Simpson Parkway Extension Project, known as Mike McKeehan Way, to address asphalt settlement issues.

The council approved the city’s 2015-2020 Transportation Improvement Plan that maps out 10.75 miles of work needed in Cheney’s 44.6-mile street system. The overall $6.4 million plan includes $3.5 million in arterial preservation work, $1.1 million in street construction and $1.8 million in residential street preservation work.

Ableman said $3,974,430 of the total is eligible for grant funding.

Council authorized Ableman to declare surplus the city’s 1979 Ford Dump Truck, a vehicle Mayor Tom Trulove said the city bought new the last time he was mayor in the 1970s.

“It’s getting hard to find parts,” Ableman said. “We can find parts, but we have to modify other systems.’

The council approved a budget amendment to pay for $30,000 of repairs to the city’s main fire attack engine. The money is being transferred from the city’s general fund balance to the fire equipment reserve fund.

“We’ll be lucky if we have it back by end of July,” Fire Chief Mike Winters said.

The City Council also:

 Modified a personnel policy giving employees two unpaid holidays each year for “a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church or religious organization” to comply with the Washington Legislature’s Substitute Senate Bill 5173

 Approved a $26,400 contract with attorney Sean O’Quinn to provide public defense services for indigent individuals

 Approved an interlocal agreement with Spokane County for “costs incident to prosecution, adjudication, incarceration and defense of misdemeanor and gross misdemeanor offenses” in the city.

Finally, the council approved waiving closing language in a purchase agreement with Bill Youngs to buy property in the city’s Commerce and Industrial Park where he plans to construct a marijuana production and processing facility. The contract language required Youngs to have a Liquor Control Board license for the facility before he could finalize the land transaction, but the LCB rules prevent issuing a license until Youngs could show he had land on which to build.

“Somehow this jam has to be broken,” Trulove said prior to the council waiving the requirement.

John McCallum can be reached at


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