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City Council OKs shoreline resolution

Sat., April 13, 2013, midnight

The Millwood City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a resolution outlining revisions to the Shoreline Management Program, specifically in regard to public access on private property.

The draft changed the word “encourage” to “require” when discussing public shoreline access across private land. As a result of meetings earlier this year with the Department of Ecology, the city conformed with the Ecology Department’s insistence that “require” be used in relation to public access across private property in new public and private development. In its draft, the city provided exceptions where the local government could provide more effective public access, or the access can be proven infeasible because of reasons such as incompatible uses, safety, security, impact to the shoreline, or where constitutional or other legal limitations apply.

In March, the council voted to table the issue to allow for written public comment. The council received two letters, from Inland Empire Paper Co. and Futurewise. Inland Empire Paper is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

“In general, the comments we have were supportive of what we are trying to do,” City Planner Tom Richardson said.

The revised SMP will be submitted to the Ecology Department for approval.

In other city news, the council awarded bids for two projects – the Dalton irrigation project and resurfacing the tennis courts in Millwood City Park.

Three companies submitted bids for the Dalton project. The council awarded the project to Dew Drop Sprinklers and Landscaping in the amount of $9,305. The council deemed the bid from the lowest bidder, Auto-Rain as nonresponsive because they did not meet the criteria of the project.

According to Richardson the city sent out six bid packages for the resurfacing project but received only two bids.

The council awarded the project to Koch Tennis Court Surfaces in the amount of $20,402. The city budgeted $20,000. The project to resurface and stripe the tennis and basketball courts is scheduled to be completed this summer.

Council further approved an interlocal agreement with the Spokane Regional Transportation Council. The revised agreement includes several changes such as expansion of the SRTC governing body and officers, meetings and voting rights and date for budget submittal.

In the agreement, SRTC included provisions for a weighted vote. This allows the city of Spokane, Spokane County and city of Spokane Valley to maintain the voting weight for these three agencies from the 2010 agreement. Small cities and towns with populations less than 5,000 share a single vote on the SRTC board. This new category includes Millwood, Fairfield, Deer Park, Latah, Medical Lake, Rockford, Spangle and Waverly. In the previous agreement it was based on jurisdictions with populations of 50,000 and less.

Leaders of Millwood’s public works department took a small group of council members, city staff and residents on a walking tour before the meeting.

The idea was to give council members a chance to see the Old Park Well where the city plans to install an automatic transfer switch for the back-up generator later this year. The council plans to put the project out to bid this spring.

As the regular meeting got underway, Spokane Valley Fire Department Deputy Chief Andy Hail introduced the new Fire Chief Bryan Collins.

“I look forward to working with Millwood,” Collins said. “And the other areas we serve in the district. We’ll have a great relationship moving forward.”

Collins, who is from San Ramon, Calif., replaces Chief Mike Thompson, who retired earlier this year.

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