Wednesday, November 21, 2012

City Council in Brief

Unable to attend the City Council meeting Tuesday? Missed it on Channel 19? Here are some of the  highlights. You can also watch the meeting in its entirety on

Seltice Way headed for improvements
City Council gave the Engineering Department the go-ahead to fund a study of city’s portion of Seltice Way. The Department will contract with JUB Engineers to evaluate the former federal highway and what repairs are needed. The city’s Public Works Committee recommended the expenditure so the city can move forward on fixing the bumpy road. Council’s approval allows only for the study. Further discussion on actually fixing the road will come later. The study is estimated to cost $10,000.

Wastewater improvements on the horizon
City officials authorized a bond council to prepare revenue bonds and set a Dec. 18 public hearing on wastewater capital improvements. The city must reduce phosphorus levels in the treated wastewater that is released into the Spokane River. The EPA is requiring all wastewater dischargers along the river to do this under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System. The bonds would be repaid through user fees. The public will have a chance to learn about project, the federal requirements and what it all means to them at the December hearing.

Police Chief awarded Citizen of the Year
Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Steve Wilson presented Police Chief Wayne Longo with the chamber’s Citizen of the Year Award. Upon accepting the award, Longo said,  “I’m very humbled by this.” You may have read about the award in the CDA Press. Click here to read that story. 

Crime Prevention hero
The Police Department awarded David Travieso with the department’s Crime Prevention Award.  Travieso, a citizen, witnessed a robbery on Oct. 25 at a Food Mart on Northwest Boulevard. He followed the suspect, who was armed with a knife. Chief Longo, who happened to be the closest unit, took over the pursuit. “I personally witnessed his unbelievable bravery,” the Chief said. “We would not have been able to capture this individual had it not been for this man’s commitment to keeping our city safe.” Mayor Sandi Bloem called Travieso “a good example for our community.”

Leaf Fest winds down
Streets Superintendent Tim Martin updated Leaf Fest 2012. Tuesday was Day 6 of the leaf pick-up program. Crews had covered about 85 percent of city with just a few spots left in the northeast and from Francis to Fourth Street. Martin expected to be finished Wednesday. One of the challenges has been the weight of the leaves, which affects the number of loads crews can clear. With all the water and snow, loads have been heavier than usual.

Snow Plan ready to go
Martin also presented the city’s Snow Plan, which Council adopted during its last meeting. Martin called the city’s snow program “one of the most customer-focused programs in the United States.”  But there are challenges, he noted. The city has over 250 lane miles of street and 500 plowable miles of roadway. Many of the streets, mainly the arterials, require 5 or 6 passes to clear. That keeps crews busy in a storm.

Some of the plan’s highlights:
  • Plow operations start with 4 to 5 inches of snow on the ground or 2 inches on the roads with more expected.
  • The snow plan calls for 37 hours to complete a plow.
  • The department partners with KVNI to constantly update efforts.

Martin’s snow tips:
  •  Allow extra commute time when it snows
  •   Keep cars off the streets when plows are in the area.
  •   Help your neighbors.

Did you know in 2007, a record 172 inches of snow fell? To put that in perspective, last year, we saw 83 inches for the season. What will happen this year? “I think it’s anyone’s guess,” Martin said.  But, he added, “Whatever comes, the department’s going to be ready for it.”