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Cheney adopts solid waste disposal plan


In what was really more a formality, the Cheney City Council adopted the city’s Comprehensive Municipal Solid Waste, Recycling and Moderate Risk Waste Management plan by a unanimous vote at its meeting Tuesday night.

The city has long expressed desire to opt out of the interlocal agreement with the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System, operation of which will be transferred from the city of Spokane to Spokane County, with the exception of the Waste to Energy Plant, this November. Passage of Tuesday’s resolution made that a reality, as well as sending the city’s plan to the state Department of Ecology for final review and passage.

“We’ve been working on this for about four years so this is really good news,” Mayor Tom Trulove said.

Public Works director Todd Ableman told the council DOE had already approved three reviews of the plan and requested its adoption so it could move to final consideration. The city currently operates most facets of a solid waste system with the exception of disposing moderate risk waste and where it will send waste for disposal.

Ableman said the former would be handled during Cheney’s annual community clean up program, Clean Sweep. The latter is being worked on, with the city considering several options such as truck or rail disposal at regional landfills in Central Washington or even at the Waste to Energy Plant.

Also Tuesday night, the council voted 6-1 to move forward on a purchase agreement with Cheney Hydroponics for that business’s $86,625 purchase of two lots in the city’s Commerce and Industrial Park in order to construct a marijuana production and processing facility. The agreement waives all contingencies, transfers closing costs to the buyer and requires the city to maintain a third lot, possibly purchased by Cheney Hydroponics at a later date, in its present condition and insure it for loss or damage at assessed valuation.

Councilwoman Jill Weiszmann was the lone no vote; saying she is still not in favor of any marijuana business locating inside the city limits.

“I don’t believe it’s the image I would like to see for the city with a university of 12,000 to 16,000 students so I will vote no,” she said.

City attorney Stanley Schwartz told the council he talked with one of Cheney Hydroponic owners, Eastern Washington University history professor Dr. Bill Youngs, who expressed optimism the state Liquor Control Board was going to issue the business a license and allow it to go forward. At the end of the meeting, Youngs’ brother and Cheney Hydroponics owner Chris Youngs addressed the council.

“We are determined to be good citizens of Cheney,” Youngs said, introducing the council to his son Owen who has moved his wife and two children to Cheney to operate Cheney Hydroponics.

“We want to do it, and do it right,” Chris Youngs added.

John McCallum can be reached at

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