Spokane Valley Online
The Spokane Valley News Herald
City of Spokane Valley, WA
Animal-control contract gets city focus in ‘12

01/04/2013

By MIKE HUFFMAN
Managing Editor

This is the second part of a two-part look back at the notable news and events of 2012. The first part appeared last year.

July
A Spokane Industrial Park business was up and running by midweek after an afternoon fire was brought under control by Spokane Valley Fire Department personnel and the Spokane Hazmat Team.
While Spokane County officials continued to be hopeful that a regional animal-control service could arise in the near future, the Spokane Valley City Council put on its “not so fast, mister” face and said it would look at all its options, including Spokane’s provider SpokAnimal.
Specially fitted roof panels delayed work at the under-construction new Station 6 at Sprague and the Interstate 90 interchange. It looked as if late fall would be the new completion date.
The next phase to reconstruct the east end of Sprague Avenue was underway, with crews moving to the south side of the arterial between the 14900 block of and Evergreen Road.
Graffiti, while still a problem in Spokane Valley, appeared to be a lessening concern as abatement efforts were having some success.
A 2-year-old girl remained in critical condition after an alleged drunken 22-year-old Gonzaga University law student struck her and ran from the scene of the accident in the area of Maringo Drive west of Argonne Road.
The Spokane Valley City Council narrowly passed a developer’s agreement that would allow Valley developer Greg Arger to build a “luxury” apartment complex next to single-family homes near Broadway Avenue and Conklin Road. Of course, no one was entirely happy or satisfied – including the council itself.
A call for safety was made after several drownings and other dangerous incidents were reported on the fast-flowing Spokane River.

August
Sheriff’s officials were seeking information on who may have intentionally caused a Spokane Valley Police car to crash, injuring the responding officer. Eventually, the incident was traced back to a pair of teen boys who had been pulling a prank by placing debris in the roadway.
The Spokane Valley Fire District’s maintenance-and-operations levy passed muster at the polls in the primary election. Spokane County Treasurer and Republican Rob Chase was eliminated from the District 2 commissioner race, while Shelly O’Quinn, GOP, and Democrat Daryl Romeyn would move on.
Spokane Valley Fire Commissioner Monte Nesbitt came into the crosshairs of the Local 876 firefighters union after information was learned that Nesbitt was not living within the borders of the fire district.
The Spokane Valley City Council spent a little more time turning over the pros and cons of sticking with Spokane County Animal Control Protection Service in 2013 and beyond.
SCRAPS, meanwhile, was investigating a possible dog-fighting ring in Spokane Valley after discovering a badly wounded pit bull tied to a Dumpster at Trentwood Elementary. The animal had to be put down due to its injuries and appeared to have suffered numerous old and new wounds, indicating it had been in many fights.
Spokane County Library District officials returned before the Spokane Valley City Council and said they were considering building a smaller, more versatile library on property at Herald Road and Sprague Avenue.
Spokane Valley Fire Department commissioners unanimously decided that a two-shift suspension – at administration’s discretion – would be appropriate punishment for a firefighter who refused to curtail the sending of religiously themed e-mails.

September
It wasn’t a baaaaaaaaaaad idea: Draft weed-eating goats from Green Goat Rental to graze on the hillside adjacent to Liberty Lake’s Nature’s Place at Meadowwood and the Trailhead Golf Course driving range.
Spokane Valley City Council members voted to negotiate a long-term contract with SCRAPS for animal control in the city, despite the promise that more money could be saved with SpokAnimal. A contract would be brought back before the council at a future meeting.
Providence Health Care, parent of Sacred Heart Medical Center and Holy Family Hospital, broke ground for a new outpatient facility in Spokane Valley.
It took some time, but Spokane County Sheriff’s Office investigators finally shut down an apparent long-running drug operation at an unlicensed daycare near West Valley High School.
Both Fire Chief Mike Thompson and Deputy Chief Larry Rider announced they would retire from the Spokane Valley Fire Department sometime in 2013.
Spokane Valley City Manager Mike Jackson told council members he would like to see the city begin to chip away at the $25.6 million in reserves that had been built up over time. Council members were divided, however, on the best use of those funds. Meanwhile, the council made it clear there would be no property-tax increase in 2013.
Construction at Station 6 – the new Gateway Fire Station at Sprague and the Interstate 90 interchange – was once again delayed after a miscommunication between fire officials and the architect. A new November move-in date was hoped for.

October
The family of Drew Swank, who died in 2009 after suffering a head injury playing football, filed a lawsuit against Valley Christian School.
Spokane Valley Fire Department Commissioner Monte Nesbitt had his voter resignation revoked and lost his eligibility to serve in the position. Nesbitt, who planned to resign at the end of the year, accelerated his plans after suffering stress-induced cardiomyopathy.
The Spokane Valley City Council approved a $2.5 million land purchase of 8.4 acres of vacant land on the north side of Sprague east of Herald Road. The property, owned by Pring Corp., was appraised at $2.74 million. The land could be developed into an expanded Balfour Park in the future and accommodate a new library.
Wal-Mart opened its newest store at 5500 E. Sprague with a grand-opening ceremony. The new 148,000-square-foot store would be Wal-Mart’s second in Spokane Valley.
The search for a new Spokane County jail site officially was narrowed down to 10 locations.
Despite posing in front of Democrat opponent Amy Biviano’s home and posting the photo on Facebook and a road-rage incident that involved a gun, 4th District Rep. Matt Shea was optimistic about his chances of retaining his seat after the election in November.
Trentwood Irrigation District 3 officials announced that water was safety to drink after three East Valley Schools were forced to shut down after a well malfunctioned.
County Commissioner Al French called a press conference to explain why the county went forward with a $685,000 settlement with Ace Investments for the Hunter’s Point Development, located in the northern portion of the county.
The Spokane Valley City Council decided in a split vote to move forward with creating a generic large-capital-projects fund from which to draw for big-ticket items.
Central Valley High School senior Austin Rehkow had a brush with celebrity after kicking a 67-yard field goal to send his team to overtime in an Oct. 18 matchup with Shadle Park High School. CV eventually went on to win the game, and Rehkow became the talk of morning television news and sports bloggers for days.
The city of Liberty Lake was looking to renegotiate its contract for animal-control services with SCRAPS, which Director Nancy Hill was less than enthusiastic about.

November
Spokane Valley City Council members were excited about the idea of designating Sprague Avenue a “Business Route,” a throwback to the time of drive-in movie theaters and Bob’s Big Boys. Still, the idea was to draw more freeway traffic to local businesses.
Emerald Services Inc. agreed to pay the state $12,000 in order to settle for illegal dumping of dangerous waste at the Graham Road Landfill.
Spokane Valley Mayor Tom Towey was recognized by the Association of Washington Cities for earning an Advanced Certificate of Municipal Leadership.
The Spokane Valley City Council gave its final OK to the 2013 budget, which contained $63.5 million in appropriations and $11 million in capital expenditures.
Voters shook up little in the general election, although there would be at least one new face headed to the Spokane County Courthouse: Shelly O’Quinn held off challenger Daryl Romeyn 81,281 votes to 68,256.
Rep. Matt Shea, 4th District, was re-elected and chosen to serve as Republican assistant floor leader in the Washington House of Representatives.
For 40 minutes on a Monday night, anyone attempting to reach 9-1-1 dispatchers heard just about the worse thing possible – no one picking up the phone. Service was restored shortly thereafter at a backup center.
Replacement of the southbound section of the Sullivan Road Bridge across the Spokane River received a boost with notification that the project was awarded $3.5 million from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board. The money, however, could only be spent provided contracts are awarded for construction by November 2013.
It was announced that Spokane Valley Fire Station 6 would open in the middle of December.
The number of whooping cough cases reported in Washington in was easing, according to state health officials.

December
The Spokane County Fair and Expo Center was ground zero for a public hearing hosted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to receive testimony on the environmental impacts on a proposed coal terminal that, if built, would increase the number of coal trains through Spokane Valley.
Spokane County commissioners wasted little time in approving a $467 million total budget for 2013. The budget included a 1-percent hike in property tax collection for the next year, along with funding for several new positions.
Mike Pearson, former superintendent of the Central Valley School District, was appointed as the newest fire commissioner of the Spokane Valley Fire Department. He would replace Monte Nesbitt, who stepped down in October.
Spokane Valley City Council Member Brenda Grassel announced she would resign her position as of Dec. 31. She and her husband were moving out of the city, negating her eligibility to serve on the governing body.
The Spokane Valley City Council divvied up its lodging tax dollars and gave $32,500 to Valleyfest. The community event’s organizers said they count on the money – collected from overnight stays in area hotels and motels – to promote and market the September festival at Mirabeau Park.
Kevin Anderson, Christina Carlsen and Robert B. McCaslin would be joining the Spokane Valley Planning Commission in 2013.
An ordinance aimed at controlling the noise and emissions from large commercial vehicles in neighborhoods was the aim of the Spokane Valley City Council in a newly passed ordinance.
A city partnership with the state of Washington for a decant facility on Montgomery Avenue west of Pines Road was supported by Spokane Valley City Council.

 

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is the City of Spokane Valley, Washington's official Newspaper. The City Council of the City of Spokane Valley, Washington named the Spokane Valley News Herald as the city's "official" newspaper. The designation means the Spokane Valley News Herald will publish the city's legal notices on a contract basis for one year.

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2012 Valley News Articles Archive