Some tweaks to city contracts with Spokane County could end up with some cost savings to Spokane Valley in the long run.
That, at least, is the hope as the City Council unanimously agreed to allow the city manager to execute several contract amendments with the county on Tuesday night. The changes would affect how the city pays for its portion of county overhead for animal control, the Department of Emergency Management, the hearing examiner and pre-trial services. Currently, only some overhead costs are included in the city’s contracts.
Under the proposal, when Spokane County receives reimbursement through state and federal grants, the city of Spokane Valley will indirectly see savings as it won’t have to pay a larger share of overhead.
The deal would be retroactive to 2010, since there is still some work being done on how much of the city’s use of services those years will affect the change in costs.
There would also be significant savings for district court services, as an older system of determining costs would be scrapped in favor of a new model where court personnel are monitored for the total amount of time they spend on Spokane Valley cases.
Altogether, the city could see a combined savings of over $200,000 per year.
In other news, the council:
- Agreed to authorize staff to determine which schools would next benefit from grants for school zone beacons. Contenders include Adams, McDonald and Sunrise elementary schools along with Horizon Middle School. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission provides funds up to $7,500 per school zone, which will add two sets of flashing lights.
- Approved the second and final reading to allow townhouses to be constructed in neighborhood commercial zones.
- Agreed to allow the city manager to execute an updated interlocal agreement with the Spokane Regional Transportation Council. The new agreement allows for cities like Cheney, Liberty Lake and Airway Heights to be included as voting members of the SRTC Board. Larger cities like Spokane and Spokane Valley, along with Spokane County, will have the ability to call for a “weighted” vote, proportionate to their larger populations.