After almost two years of negotiations, Spokane Valley approved contracts that set the cost for seven of the services Spokane County provided for the young city last year.
At its meeting Tuesday, the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously supported the contracts for various tasks that the county handled in 2005, mostly in criminal justice. They account for about $2 million of the city’s $17.4 million budget for county contracts.
Several of the city’s contracts with the county expired in 2004, and the county agreed to continue providing the services under the old terms until a new contract was completed.
City officials hope that the new terms for calculating the county’s costs to provide the services will serve as a model for future contracts.
“The most significant change would be in the way that the overhead is applied,” said Morgan Koudelka, an analyst for the city.
City and county negotiators have sought a mutually agreeable way to calculate the peripheral expenses associated with providing the services.
For the 2005 contracts, overhead costs were estimated based on previous years and will be adjusted in 2006 based on what the county had to spend to fill the contract.
Spokane County agreed to abandon a proposal for overhead calculation known as full-cost allocation that would have charged the city for more expenses associated with the contracts.
At Tuesday’s meeting, Councilman Rich Munson brought up concerns that the council has voiced in the past about the cost of animal control. But overall, council members said they were pleased with the agreements reached with the county.
“This is easy reading compared to some things we’ve dealt with in the past,” Councilman Bill Gothmann said.
Contracts for 2006 are still under negotiation.
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