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Airway Heights council forwards land swap

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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At its July 11 study session, the Airway Heights City Council forwarded several items to its July 18 meeting, including a land swap agreement with Spokane Rock Products.

The agreement would provide the city with 45 feet of additional right-of-way on 21st Avenue north of the existing 30 feet between Lundstrom and Albert streets. The right-of-way is necessary for the future connection of 21st Avenue westward to Craig Road.

In return, Spokane Rock Products would receive portions of unused city right-of-way at Albert Street that is within the boundaries of their property.

Public Works Director Kevin Anderson said the unused right-of-way on Spokane Rock Products' property has "little value" to the city.

"If it was important to us, we would push back and try to reclaim it," Anderson said. "We don't have a long-term interest or need for it."

Anderson said Spokane Rock Products mined along the south edge of 21st Avenue and has "disturbed" that area.

"As part of the agreement we will have them fix that," he said.

Council also forwarded a funding request from, the city's Lodging Tax Advisory Committee for $13,250 to engage SPW Landscape Architects in redesigning Airway Heights' monument signs at the city limits.

J.C. Kennedy, parks and recreation director, said the committee has been discussing redesigning the signs for the past year. According to Councilman Dave Malet, SPW President Thomas Sherry, said one of the issues with current signs is they are "three sizes too small" for the speed on U.S. Highway 2.

"He said 'that's a sign for about 25 miles per hour,'" Malet said in reference to Sherry's assessment of the current signs. "They should be at least 5 feet up off the road, that way it will have more of an appealing look."

Councilman Larry Bowman asked how the monument redesign would affect the Highway 2 revitalization project. Malet said that project is mainly focused on street and sidewalk improvements and the monuments would not have much of an effect on tit. Both Malet and Kennedy said the design is still at the concept stage.

"We still need a board member to look at it," Malet added. "It will be a few months before we bring this to council."

Council also forwarded the first reading of Ordinance C-878. The ordinance amends the city's municipal code "Water System" to only allow property owners to create utility accounts. Currently both property owners and tenants can create accounts.

Addam Janke, accounting-records clerk, explained that the ordinance would allow staff to save time when they open and close utility accounts.

"We spend a lot of time, especially Janice (Ledum, utility clerk), doing final readings and closings," Janke said.

Janke added that several cities are switching over to this type of system.

Mayor Kevin Richey expressed concern over the proposed ordinance, saying it puts all of the responsibility of utility payments on property owners.

"The problem is, now if you have the water bill in the name of (just) the property owner, the tenant doesn't really have much motivation to pay other than to use the owner's water," Richey said. "That dips into the land owner's profits because now they have this $200 water bill they have to pay."

Council also forwarded a resolution to approve the master plan for Sekani Park. The plan is for the two-acre parcel behind Walmart, which the city purchased in January 2015.

Kennedy said SPW developed the plan from input they received from residents during a series of public workshops in the spring. The Park Advisory Board approved the plan at its July 7 meeting.

Al Stover can be reached at al@cheneyfreepress.com.



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Original Publication Date: July 14, 2016



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