Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Medical Lake council approves unpaid holidays for city employees

Recent state legislation requires two days for matters of faith, conscience or religious denomination activity


It was a quick, but busy night at the July 15 Medical Lake City Council meeting.

The council approved a resolution to provide city employees with two unpaid holidays per calendar year for a reason of faith or conscience, or an organized activity conducted by a religious denomination, church or organization.

City attorney Cynthia McMullen explained that the Washington State Legislature passed a bill providing all city employees two unpaid holidays per calendar year. She added that the bill went into effect, July 1.

Councilwoman Shirley Maike asked about employees who work a job that needs coverage 24 hours a day.

McMullen explained that supervisors would need to make sure that those positions are covered. If there is not adequate coverage for that day, supervisors can deny that employee’s srequest.

“Let’s say we have to have somebody at the treatment plant,” McMullen said. “The request can be denied if there isn’t anybody else who can cover the shift.”

According to the resolution, if several employees request a specific date off, the unpaid holiday will be granted to employees in the order that the requests were submitted, with the earliest receiving priority.

McMullen said the resolution covers any religion, as well as a matter of conscience.

The City Council also passed a resolution that amended previous resolutions 424 and 470, which declared the Ball and Dodd Funeral Home property, located at 111 W. Brooks, as surplus and set a method of disposal. McMullen said the resolution clarifies that the buildings can be disposed of separately from the land if that is what City Council decides to do.

Mayor John Higgins announced the city has received four bids to dispose of the property. He said whoever is awarded the bid will have 30 days to work from start to finish to “get it taken care of.”

In other business:

• Higgins announced that the city received the 2014 Association of Washington Cities Employee Benefits Trust Well City Award. He said this gives the city a 2 percent discount on their medical premiums for 2015. Higgins commended Parks and Recreation director Ashlee King for her efforts in helping the city get the award.

• Higgins said the Brooks Road overlay will have a heavier grade of asphalt and will cost the city a little bit more money.

• The City Council approved the second reading of ordinance 1038, which amends Chapter 12.34 water and sewer utility facilities and reimbursement agreement.

Al Stover can be reached at


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