Cheney Free Press -

By DREW LAWSON
Staff Reporter 

ML council approves Lokett water tank lease agreement

 

Last updated 12/24/2020 at 12:06pm



MEDICAL LAKE—Council approved a lease agreement with Lokket after the city was contacted by the school district about an opportunity to provide Wi-Fi at no charge to families in need. The agreement was discussed and given the green light at council’s Dec. 15 meeting.

According to meeting documentation and city administrator Doug Ross, Lokket, which markets itself as a free Wi-Fi company with headquarters in San Francisco, San Diego and Sydney, Australia, was going to put their equipment on school buildings. However, better service and coverage would be reached from an antenna on the city’s water tank.

Lokket agreed to provide a minimum of 30 hookups at no charge to families in need in exchange for the city not charging a lease fee for the term of the agreement. The company charges an initial setup and equipment fee of $100 per customer, which Ross said the school district would cover.

The 30 families in need receiving the Lokket hookup will be determined by the school district.

Council unanimously approved the agreement.

“It sounds like it’s better than (the options) we have,” councilmember Art Kulibert commented.

Council also approved an agreement with General Industries, Inc. of Spokane Valley to construct a new picnic shelter at Waterfront Park to replace the one blown over in a wind storm in September. The project will cost $94,000, which Ross said will be covered by insurance.

“Once you factor in prevailing wage…and the new concrete slab we’re going to pour, the total was what it should’ve been at $94,000,” Ross said.

Ross added the city hopes to begin the project before the spring, while the ground is still hard.

Other action items at the Dec. 15 meeting included approval of continuing an interlocal agreement in the county’s emergency management agency. Without the agreement, the city would be responsible for providing all emergency management planning and services.

Council also approved to extend an agreement between the city and E&H Engineering to maintain continuity with completing the Spokane Intertie Project and 2021’s Grace Street/Hallett Street Sidewalk Project.

All action items were passed unanimously.

Ross also informed council that the city is switching banks. Umpqua Bank was recently acquired by STCU, and by law, the city can’t have more than $250,000 in a credit union. Sometimes, Ross said, the city needs more than that in their accounts to cover warrants, so the city will switch to First Interstate Bank of Airway Heights.

“We are trying to finalize the paperwork that’s needed to do that,” Ross said.

The city will get a remote check reader and make deposits remotely, to avoid making a daily trip.

The meeting was the last for councilmember Jessica Roberts, who announced her resignation in November due to her family’s move just outside city limits. Living within city limits is a requirement to serve on council.

“I want to thank everybody for being so good and easy to work with,” Roberts said. “I look forward to a new adventure in my life, but I will definitely still paying attention and attending whenever I’m able to do so.”

The city is now advertising its vacant council position for interested applicants. Applicants must have lived within city limits for at least one year and be registered to vote within the city. The appointee will hold office until the Nov. 2021 general election, when Roberts’ term was set to expire.

Applications are due by 4 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2021.

Drew Lawson can be reached at drew@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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