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Vandalism, water loan hot topics at Millwood City Council meeting

Sat., Oct. 12, 2013

Concerns over growing vandalism were raised Tuesday night during the regular Millwood City Council meeting.

“There have been a lot of little things,” resident Tracy Anderson said about the vandalism, who requested extra police patrols. “It seems be to happening between 2 and 4 in the morning.”

Anderson cited incidents of basketball hoops and garbage cans being turned over in her neighborhood and someone coming through her breezeway and unscrewing the bulb in an exterior light.

Resident Carol Capps said the vandalism extends beyond Anderson’s neighborhood. Capps said it started in the summer but has accelerated since school began.

“It appears to be primarily juveniles,” Capps said. “Flower beds are being upended and little things are being stolen.”

Capps said her neighbor had a gas can and fire extinguisher stolen.

“Makes you wonder what they have in mind,” Capps said. “We would like the whole area looked at.”

Mayor Dan Mork said he would call the Sheriff’s Department and request extra patrols. Councilman Kevin Freeman requested the West Valley High School resource officer also be notified.

In other city news, Millwood City Council accepted a Drinking Water State Revolving Fund loan from the Washington State Public Works Board.

The $448,208 loan would fund the city’s Buckeye Avenue water main replacement project, tentatively planned for next year. The project would replace 2,700 feet of old waterline with an 8-inch main for fire flow requirements.

The loan will be paid off in 20 years after a four-year deferral. The interest rate is 1.5 percent, with an annual loan payment of $26,106.

The council delayed accepting the loan during the October meeting to clarify a special term of the loan requiring the city to maintain a 12.5 percent operating reserve.

Engineer Necia Maiani, of Welch Comer and Associates, confirmed with the Public Works Board and state Department of Health that the city must designate and maintain a 12.5 percent operating reserve – approximately $30,000 – during the length of the loan. The reserve must be in place upon project completion.

Maiani also said the city must maintain capital and emergency reserves as required by the city’s six-year water system master plan.

“Your water master plan indicates a recommended $182,000,” Maiani said, “which is approximately 100 percent of your operating budget. That is pretty extreme.”

Maiani said both the Department of Health and the Public Works Board said the city can amend the water master plan to reduce the required reserves, and the city can incorporate the cost of the amendment into the loan. She added that once the plan is amended, the city should look at its water rates to ensure the “rate structure in place is going to fund the reserve and city projects over the next six years.”

The council approved a task order to review and amend the water system master plan. The city plans to have a water rate analysis done next year.

As part of the public comments, resident John Ammann requested the asphalt be carried across the entire road during the Buckeye project because the edges are breaking away.

“If you bring the asphalt in 3 to 4 feet, put a frost line on, it would protect the road and clean up the dust problem, too,” Ammann said. “It would also be a lot safer for foot and bike traffic.”

Freeman asked for the city maintenance staff to look at the street and get an estimated cost of running the asphalt further south.


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