Monday’s regular Millwood City Council meeting opened with a moment of silence and remembrance, marking the death of Eva Colomb, a 23-year city cmployee.
Colomb died on Sept. 25 after losing her long battle with cancer. Councilman Kevin Freeman proposed celebrating her memory by dedicating the city’s new gazebo in her honor.
The 30-foot gazebo, under construction at the east end of Millwood Park, is scheduled for completion by Leone & Keeble Inc. at the end of October.
“She will be deeply missed,” Mayor Dan Mork said in an interview following the meeting. Mork said he plans to hold a ceremony this fall dedicating the gazebo in her honor.
Regular city business followed with a special public hearing discussing a resolution on the annual property tax levy.
The council unanimously approved the resolution requiring a zero-percent increase in property tax revenue from the previous year. The resolution does not set the levy; it merely documents the city’s inability to use the state-allowed annual 1 percent increase for next year.
The council plans to adopt an ordinance to set the 2010 tax levy amount at next month’s meeting.
In an e-mail following the meeting, city planner Tom Richardson explained the city belongs to a special district along with the fire and library districts. The three together cannot exceed $3.60 per thousand assessed valuation on residential property. The fire district’s limit is $1.50, and the library’s is 50 cents. That leaves the city a maximum of $1.60 per thousand assessed valuation.
Following the property tax levy vote, the council reviewed a preliminary 2010 budget. The budget features $2,032,000 in expenses. The council intends to conduct two public hearings before final adoption. The required date for budget approval is Dec. 31.
In other city news, council closed the contract for contractor Cameron-Reilly by approving two final change orders, totaling $9,300. Last spring, the council awarded the sidewalk enhancement project along the Argonne corridor to Cameron-Reilly. The project, completed in August, totaled $139,650, which was $32,350 under budget. The original bid for the project was $172,000.
The council approved $123,263 in change orders from contractor Red Diamond for the Argonne corridor project. Mork presented a letter from Matt Gillis, project manager from engineering firm Welch Comer and Associates, stating the extra cost was for extending the scope of work south of Frederick to Buckeye.
Gillis estimated the project coming in 2 percent under budget, costing the city approximately $1.29 million, leaving $26,000 under the $1.3 million grant. Mork anticipates receiving the final numbers for the project soon.
The council unanimously approved an interlocal agreement with the city of Spokane for hearing examiner services. Spokane hearing examiner Gregory Smith will work for Millwood in the part-time role.
Mork solicited input from council members as to specific areas where they want Welch Comer to gather additional traffic numbers. Once the data is collected, Mork plans to hold a public meeting in November to discuss the results.
In addition to planned studies of Empire, Fowler and Butler, the council recommended Liberty, Buckeye, Dale, Stout north of Trent, Trent and Sargent and Marguerite and Euclid.
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