By MATTHEW O. STEPHENS
Staff Reporter 

ML City Council OKS new speed radar trailers

Impacts to water system from extended summer heat also discussed

 

Last updated 8/26/2021 at 2:19pm



MEDICAL LAKE — The City Council recently held a meeting via Zoom, and discussed several issues present in the community. The choice to stay with Zoom meetings came as a result of recent news regarding in person meetings. The council discussed changes to their law enforcement department, announced the upcoming budget discussion, talked about water issues, and gave all the pertinent department reports.

Medical Lake will be putting some new law enforcement additions to work in the near future. The city was awarded $20,000 to utilize for law enforcement and bought two radar trailers with the funding. Residents will see these trailers parked in different places around town, and they will be moved periodically to manage traffic in certain areas of town.

Medical Lake also hired a new code enforcement officer, Andy Harbolt, who is a retired deputy from Stevens County.

Another issue of concern brought to the table was the city’s water system potentially becoming stressed. This summer has brought pretty high temperatures resulting in heat advisories. The heat waves have caused the residents of Medical Lake to use water at a much higher rate than normal.


The city’s water system seems to be holding up to the increase, but reports of the wells suffering power outages are creating some worry. City Council members also showed concern for this.

The city had tests done on the lake water in early July, and the results were presented at the meeting. Even though the temperatures have been high, and the water levels are low, the tests showed the water having a very good oxygen content.

The budget workshop was scheduled for Sept. 21, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. That meeting will also be done by way of Zoom, and they will be discussing the city budget for 2022.

One of the top items of discussion at the meeting for the council is to replenish some lost revenue. Much of this lost revenue comes in the form of unpaid utilities, and it these unpaid bills are creating a financial cavity. Council members fear the problem may be tough to climb out of.


The finance committee reported the city sales tax revenue exceeding $55,000 for the month of July, which surpassed expectations of the council members. The Parks and Recreation Committee purchased new signs that will be displayed at various parks around the community.

The Medical Lake Public Works Department is struggling with staffing issues, creating problems as the city workers are not able to adequately cover all necessary general maintenance. The Safety Committee reaffirmed that any general law enforcement calls need to go through Spokane County’s Crime Check system rather than the duty phone, and this is because Mayor Shirley Maike and City Council want to see all incoming calls recorded.

Matthew O. Stephens can be reached at reporter2@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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