This is a busy time of year for Public Works employees in Spokane Valley. They spend their days patching holes and cracks in streets and maintaining dry wells. They have no time for tidying up their new building on East Euclid Avenue tucked in the back of the Spokane Business and Industrial Park.
The city purchased the new location earlier this year to replace the site it was leasing across from City Hall. The much larger site has plenty of room to park the city’s snowplows and create large piles of sand and salt for the winter. “We’ve got everything moved over, but nothing’s organized,” said Public Works Superintendent Shane Arlt. “We’ll get to tidying this up when we have time. The bathrooms are clean and we have desks here.”
Before the maintenance workers moved in to the new street and stormwater maintenance facility some old, leaking aluminum windows were replaced. A work crew from Geiger Corrections Center removed the tattered wallpaper and added a fresh coat of paint. New flooring is still going in.
The new site has several benefits in addition to being larger. A railroad spur runs behind the property, allowing the city to have liquid de-icer shipped by rail instead of truck, saving money. The business the city has a contract with for fuel is right across the street, making refueling city trucks a breeze.
The site isn’t as centrally located as the old one, but crews typically spend their days on the road instead of coming and going, Arlt said. “It’s been OK so far,” he said. “It does take a little longer to get to the far west.”
When winter comes the new site will be the hub of the city’s snow-plowing efforts, which means that the Business and Industrial Park will be among the first streets cleared as plows fan out to their routes. “I think some people are pretty excited about that,” Arlt said.
Perhaps the best feature of all at the new location is the large shop. The old shop was cramped and in need of repairs. The new shop can easily fit six snowplows with room to spare and there are doors on both ends to make access even easier.
The only other improvement the city plans is adding a salt storage shed in the back, Arlt said. It helps that the site was a former trucking facility and there is room to maneuver. Crews could hardly turn around at the old site, Arlt said. “It just gives us a lot of room.”