Cheney Free Press -

Staff Reporter 

Efficiency reigns at ML council


April 12, 2018

A few weeks ago, the Medical Lake City Council had considered the idea of cancelling its April 3 meeting.

But they opted to gather anyway and took care of business in speedy fashion in under 30 minutes.

Minus Laura Parsons, who had an excused absence, and John Merrick who apparently misread minutes and was under the impression the meeting was cancelled and was out of town, the council unanimously approved all agenda items. Those included a motion to not excuse Merrick’s latest absence.

Business also included approval of a deal between Medical Lake and Four Lakes to tap into a waterline intertie that exists between the two. The agreement would allow Medical Lake to provide water to a new Spokane County shop facility being built in a gravel pit located on the southeast corner of State Route 902 and Craig Road, the same location as the city’s Craig Road well.

Four Lakes Water District has relinquished 60 feet of a water main that runs between the two wells.  That main was built as an emergency intertie between the two so that in case of emergency, the city could provide Four Lakes with water and vice versa, Medical Lake City Administrator Doug Ross explained.

“It connects on a place where we wanted it connected at,” Ross said.

The county had originally sought a different location for their shop project, but that was where Medical Lake has a booster station planned for the possibility someday of an intertie agreement with Spokane. “We’re trying to be proactive and get this in the right spot,” Ross said.

There are no financial considerations in the deal between the water providers.

“We’re doing something and they’re doing something but no one is writing a check,” city attorney Cindy McMullen said. The only responsibility for Medical Lake is the building of a gate valve.

The agreement will be filed with Spokane County so that when council members move on, or memories fade, there will be black and white proof of what took place.

In public safety matters, March was “A pretty average month,” for police and fire calls Councilman John Paikuli reported. “Only 22 percent of our calls went up to state facilities,” he added.

The other number was the 14 percent of calls where another agency beat ML to the response.

A committee has been working to study options for future policing for the city. They will continue to meet over the next couple of weeks, hopeful of having a report for the next council meeting on April 17.

A permit application has been received by the city for a fireworks display during June’s Founder’s Day celebration. It would be similar to the one at last year’s Winterfest.

Council received a report from Assistant Fire Chief Corey Stevens who said call volume remains about average for the year but that there has been an increase county-wide for wildland fires. Despite wet conditions, there have been several fires caused by outside burning.

A Founders Day softball tournament is a go, Councilman Ted Olson said in his report. And 11 softball teams are ready to begin play soon, partnering with the city of Davenport for competition.

Paul Delaney can be reached at


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