Cheney Free Press -

By Grace Pohl
Staff Intern 

AH City Council discusses Highland Village road width


March 22, 2018

Road width at the developing Highland Village in Airway Heights was a main discussion at the March 12 City Council study session meeting.

Public Works Director Kevin Anderson explained to the board that the developer of the location has requested a roadway width of 34 feet instead of the original 40-foot plan. Anderson explained that there will be plenty of parking for residents in the area, but if it develops into an issue down the road, they can restrict parking on the road at certain times of the day.

“There are a number of reasons why they want this,” Anderson said. “They have a different development in mind and want to promote a different look. The wider the roads are, the more expensive it is to maintain it. It also helps with less speeding in the area.”

Fire Chief Mitch Metzger and Police Chief Lee Bennett were in attendance to advocate against this option because of public safety issues with the roads not being wide enough for their vehicles to get through the area.

“The Fire Department doesn’t support it at this time,” Metzger said. “We are just concerned.”

Bennett was also against it and thinks it would increase chances of collisions, along with concerns about snow plowing.

The council agreed to think it over and make a decision at a later date.

Bennett also discussed replacing guns and department vehicles in the near future.

In the first item, Bennett explained to the council that their duty weapons are over six years old and include a .40 caliber gun that is not as effective as people first thought. They would like to purchase a 9mm and a .45 caliber option. When asking the officers which they would prefer, there was a mix of responses.

“It is better to get a couple for them (the officers) to choose from so they are comfortable,” Bennett said.

For the cars, Bennett told the council that they had a Chevrolet Silverado, an Acura and a GMC Acadia to give for trade-in value. The department would use the funds received to purchase two non-patrol vehicles for detectives. The council agreed to move it forward to the next meeting to vote on both items from the police department.

Both of the items were approved at the following City Council meeting on March 19.

Derrick Braaten spoke to the council about a new position, the community engagement and enforcement officer. The job description was approved at the March 19 meeting and applications will open soon. He is set to have the hiring process open for 30-60 days due to how specific the role of the position is.

“It is a step in the right direction for us,” Councilman Doyle Inman said.

The council also approved of a City Civil Service Commission composed of Tom Shirey, Andrew Gardner and Tanya Dashiell. The group will monitor the hiring of the police and fire departments.

In other items, Arbor Day in Airway Heights was officially set for April 27. The city has had it on the last Friday in April for the last 15 years and maintains the city’s status as a “tree city.”

Grace Pohl can be reached at


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