Cheney Free Press -


Cheney receives block grant funding

City Council also awards $442,996 contract to Spokane Rock Products for street preservation work


Cheney City Council members unanimously approved the receipt of money for one street project, the awarding of a contract for another and filling out an application for future work at the regular bi-monthly meeting July 23.

The council accepted a $98,700 award from Spokane County’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to help pay for replacing water mains on L Street between Third and Fifth streets, and D Street between Second and Third streets. The project is one of several the city hopes to begin undertaking this summer, which includes a $375,000 preservation project of North Sixth Street.

The council also approved a $442,996 contract with Spokane Rock Products for the city’s 2013 Residential Street Preservation and CDBG Infrastructure project. Spokane Rock Products was the lowest of three responsive bidders for the work.

Cheney Public Works director Todd Ableman asked the council to make the award conditional due to that fact that CDBG personnel had been experiencing difficulties accessing their award management system.

The council approved a resolution authorizing Ableman and his staff to submit applications for design and construction funding for preservation work on Betz Road from SR 904 to North Sixth Street to the state’s Transportation Improvement Board. The project would be included as part of the city’s 2014-2019 Transportation Improvement Plan’s 2014 Arterial Street Preservation Project.

“We fit nicely within the (state’s) criteria as far as the city of Cheney’s application goes,” Ableman said.

Councilman Fred Pollard asked if there was funding within the application for providing student crossing areas. The Spokane Regional Transportation Council has recommended five such crossings along the road where numerous apartment buildings housing Eastern Washington University students are located as well as Cheney Middle School. Ableman said there wasn’t funding for these as of yet, but hoped to know more from the TIB sometime in November.

The council approved a $29,340 contract with information system provider Intrinium for an upgrade of the city’s system to the next generation of firewalls, not only to be protected from viruses and hacking but also provide Web filtering and vulnerability management. Finance director Cindy Niemeier told the council the contract was for the engineering and purchasing of two firewalls to provide redundancy in case equipment failed.

As part of a separate resolution, the council approved the renewal of Intrinium’s contract for supplying information services. The contract price is not to exceed $90,000, and City Administrator Arlene Fisher told the council that they had saved more than $70,000 in employee costs since switching information services to Intrinium full time.

The lone ordinance on the council agenda was a budget amendment moving $47,000 into various funds for use. The Fire Equipment Reserve fund added $20,000 for use in buying safety equipment and the Police Equipment Reserve received $17,000 to help pay for a new digital recording system needed for dispatch. Niemeier explained to the council that Police Chief John Hensley was working with Spokane County to procure those funds as well.

“I put this in here in case that does not come through,” Niemeier said.

The Hotel/Motel Tax fund received $10,000 from the year’s ending fund balance.

Finally in his report, Mayor Tom Trulove told the council he had received a letter from the state Department of Ecology naming Cheney’s wastewater treatment plant as a recipient of the 2012 Wastewater Treatment Plant Outstanding Performance Award. Trulove noted it was not something easy to achieve given the shifting conditions of treating wastewater.

“For them to be error free for a year is really amazing, so we offer our congratulations,” he added.

John McCallum can be reached at


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