November 16, 2013 in Washington Voices

Millwood budget back in black

Valerie Putnam vrputnam@yahoo.com
 
Coming up

• Millwood City Council plans to have a special meeting on Dec. 2 at a time yet to be determined.

During the meeting, the council will hold a public hearing on the 2014 budget. For more information, call (509) 924-0960.

The next regular City Council meeting is at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at City Hall.

• The annual Christmas tree lighting will be Dec. 6 beginning at 6 p.m. on the front lawn of the Inland Empire Paper Co., 3320 N. Argonne Road. For more information call Shirene Young (509) 924-1911, ext. 309.

• Leaf pick-up continues until Nov. 24, weather permitting. Rake leaves to curb or edge of the road. Please, no bags or tarps. Any questions, call City Hall.

Millwood is in the black for the first time in several years.

City Treasurer Debbie Matkin presented a general overview of the preliminary 2014 budget at the City Council meeting Tuesday night. She reported the city showed an excess in all funds – a turnaround from last year when water and sewer funds reflected a deficit.

“This was by far my favorite preliminary budget I’ve done,” Matkin said.

The city is planning several capital projects next year, including $7,000 for a security door and cameras at City Hall, $32,000 to pave an overlay on Bridgeport Avenue, and $325,000 for the Buckeye Avenue sidewalk project.

No public testimony was given during the hearing following Matkin’s presentation. Another public hearing is planned during a special council meeting on Dec. 2, along with final adoption.

Nancy Hill, director of Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service, gave the council an update on the new regional animal shelter. The 30,000-square-foot facility will open next year.

Hill touted the the benefits of SCRAPS providing animal control throughout the county, including having all lost animals under one roof, common licenses, uniform enforcement and professional animal protection officers.

Hill requested that the council approve the interlocal agreement with an annual cost of $6,855.56. The cost would remain the same for three years.

Hill also asked the council to turn pet licensing over to SCRAPS.

Currently, the city sells its own pet licenses. Millwood charges $5 for a spayed/neutered dog or cat and $25 for an unaltered animal. The county adds a $4 surcharge to each license.

SCRAPS license fees are $15 for spayed/neutered cats, $25 for unaltered, and $25 for spayed/neutered dogs, $50 for unaltered.

The council is scheduled to vote on the agreement at its Dec. 2 meeting.

During public comments, Millwood resident Patrick Elsden asked the council to do something about speeding on Liberty Avenue.

“I can sit in my front room and watch people speed down Liberty at all times of the day, and that is including the city bus,” said Elsden, who has two children. “Everybody speeds down the street and I’ve absolutely had it.”

Elsden suggested installing a stop sign at the corner of Bessie Road and Liberty to slow traffic, or posting the city’s radar speed sign.

Councilman Kevin Freeman asked staff to find out the cost for two radar speed signs. Until then, the council asked for the radar sign to be moved to Liberty.

Mayor Dan Mork said the data recorded from the sign could be given to the Sheriff’s Office. The data also could be used to determine if the city wanted to undertake any traffic control measures, Matkin said.

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