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Posts tagged: combined sewage overflow

Council considers rushing votes

The Spokane City Council on Monday will consider rushing its normal voting procedure to condemn the proposed Spokane Tribe of Indians casino on the West Plains.

Councilman Mike Fagan is sponsoring the resolution to put the city on record as opposing the casino and has asked that the council to suspend its rules so it can vote on the matter on Monday instead of giving the public more than a week’s notice before a vote.

“I feel that there’s a sense of urgency,” Fagan said.

The public usually gets well over a week’s notice about any issue on which the City Council conducts a vote. Notice for the resolution, however, wasn’t released until Thursday when Monday’s agenda was distributed.

Fagan said that the council’s schedule wouldn’t allow a vote on the matter until April 9 unless a vote is taken on Monday because the March 26 meeting is focused on neighborhoods and the April 2 meeting has been cancelled.

In order to suspend the rules, five of the seven council members would have to approve voting on the matter on Monday.

City Council President Ben Stuckart, who supports the tribe’s casino project, said there’s no reason to rush the resolution.

“If it’s an important enough issue, you should give the public time to know about it, be knowledgeable and prepare testimony,” he said.

Council approves loan to help stop raw sewage from entering Spokane River

Spokane will borrow more than $1 million from the state to help prevent untreated sewage from spilling into the Spokane River.

The City Council on Monday agreed to accept a low-interest loan from the state Department of Ecology to pay for a combined sewage overflow tank already under construction near the T.J. Meenach Bridge.

The project is one of many that that will add up to an estimated $300 million through 2017, the deadline that’s been set for the city to stop nearly all discharges of raw sewage into the river.

Much of Spokane’s south side has storm drains that flow into the sanitary sewage system. When it rains, that system becomes overburdened and sewage flows to the river without being treated. To prevent that from occurring, the city is installing a series of overflow tanks to capture excess sewage that can flow to the treatment plant as capacity allows.

City officials say they likely will seek a bond to pay for most of those projects. The construction of the tanks has been cited as a significant reason for recent and proposed sewage fee increases that could make monthly sewage bills hit $55 in 2013, up from about $33 in 2010.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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