November’s windstorm blew a good chunk out of Spokane Valley’s winter reserve fund typically earmarked for snow-clearing, City Manager Mike Jackson said Tuesday.
The fund -- which generally holds around $500,000 for plowing, deicing and sanding city streets – will be down about $300,000 headed into 2016 as the city pays for expenses associated with the Nov. 17 storm, which knocked out power, downed power lines and felled trees throughout the region.
The City Council will be asked to formally approve the expenditures at its Dec. 8 meeting. City officials will then work through the budget to find sources repay the winter-reserve fund next year.
On Tuesday, Jackson told the council at its regular study session meeting that most of the costs came from clearing downed trees in the roadways at 95 different locations ($108,400) and from five city parks where up to 40 large pine trees fell ($165,000). There was also damage to fences and playground equipment that needs to be fixed.
“Crews were out that night (clearing roads),” Jackson said. “They did an outstanding job.”
The city also had to repair or replace 200 to 250 street or directional signs that blew down during the storm to the tune of about $5,000.
In other news, the council:
- Gave its unanimous final approval to extend a moratorium on unlicensed marijuana businesses for a period of six more months. The city first adopted the moratorium in December 2014.
- Heard a report about the possibility of imposing a $40 fee on self-haulers without covered loads at the Sunshine University Transfer Station. The issue will receive more study – specifically what constitutes an “uncovered load” – as some council members expressed concern over enforcement.
- Learned that it was a step closer toward final adoption of its Shoreline Master Program as the Washington state Department of Ecology has signed off on the document with no conditions. Now the council must repeal prior ordinances for the new document to be put into effect. The first reading is scheduled for Dec. 8.