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Washington Voices

Council keeps close eye on costs

Liberty Lake discusses board fees, saving paper

A light agenda kept things simple at Tuesday’s Liberty Lake City Council meeting, but there were some concerns about the changes proposed on the city’s interlocal agreement with the Spokane Regional Transportation Council.

The regional board is currently funded by Spokane County, the city of Spokane, the city of Spokane Valley and the Washington state Department of Transportation. There’s a new paragraph in the agreement specifying that if small cities are asked to pay a fee, they will be given one year’s notice. Small cities currently do not pay to be part of the council.

“You have to realize that a lot of these small cities are lucky, if they have two nickels to rub together,” said Mayor Wendy Van Orman.

The timing is also a concern. The SRTC budget comes out in August, while the city’s budget is finalized in November or December. “That’s a discussion that needs to be had,” she said.

The council also was concerned about a change to make the number of board members 12 instead of nine. With an even number of people there could be an impasse if there is a tie vote, Van Orman said. The city may suggest making one person a nonvoting member, she said.

•In other business, the council voted to renew its contract with the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service for animal control. The contract is $1,000 less than last year, Van Orman said.

The council also discussed going paperless and providing public access to council packets on the city’s Web site to save money on paper. “The council is definitely in favor of proceeding,” Van Orman said. “We’re still going through the information on how to do it. Over a year it costs $4,500 for paper products, staff time, you name it.”

The council discussed buying security cameras for the skate park in Pavillion Park, which was funded in the 2010 budget.