Council looks at roads as mayor’s term winds down
Approaching the end of 2017, the Quincy City Council plowed through a long agenda on Dec. 19 and passed motions on a number of important subjects.
The meeting also served as the final public hearing on the preliminary budget for 2018. There were no comments on the preliminary budget, copies of which were provided at the meeting. The 51-page document details projected revenue and expenses for the city in the upcoming year.
Quincy’s new chief of police, Kieth Siebert, presented an agenda item requesting approval from the council to begin the search to hire a captain for the department, a position that would supervise the police patrol. Funding for the captain position was approved by the council earlier, and on Dec. 19 it approved advertising of the position.
Russ Harrington, Recreation Department director, presented an agreement with Skyhawks Sports Academy to partner with the department for youth summer camps in Quincy, and the motion was approved.
Projects on the west side of Quincy got a lot of attention at the meeting.
The council approved an agreement with Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for a grant of almost $1.2 million for the construction of the roundabout planned for the intersection of State Route 28 and 13th Avenue SW.
Later in the meeting, the City Council approved a resolution declaring that Quincy will provide $924,065 in matching funds to go with the TIB grant toward construction of the roundabout.
Another road project also was moved forward on Dec. 19. The City is looking at extending R Street SW westward, through to 13th Avenue SW. City Engineer Ariel Belino presented a proposal to contract with Transportation Engineering NorthWest for services at a cost of up to $95,077. The design work is to include extension of 10th Avenue SW southward, to meet up with the extended R Street. If completed, R Street SW will be an east-west connection and alternate route for traffic going to and from 13th Avenue SW, most of which now passes through the busy intersection of 13th Avenue SW and SR 28.
The City also made a large financial commitment involving the registered warrants held by Grant County from the Grant County Public Hospital District No. 2. The warrants are debt owed to the county by Quincy Valley Medical Center, and the county earns interest on them. On Dec. 19, the Quincy City Council approved a $1 million investment in those warrants. City Attorney Allan Galbraith explained that the City will earn 3.5 percent interest on the investment, which is a higher rate than paid by other investments available to the City. The motion passed with none opposed.
Late in the meeting, the City Council members approved a resolution that will have the city go through two readings of an ordinance before it can be approved. The idea had come up earlier this year, and the resolution before the Council on Dec. 19 amends City Council Rules of Procedure, with this text: Ordinances shall generally require two readings. The first reading will consist of a staff presentation and may include City Council discussion. The second reading will occur at a subsequent meeting. First and Final readings are allowed if declared necessary by the Mayor or presiding officer and approved by a majority vote of the City Council. Ordinances shall be passed to a second reading by a majority vote of the City Council. Ordinances may be passed to a second reading with direction to staff to make revisions as approved by a majority vote of the City Council. If a motion to pass an ordinance to a second reading fails, the ordinance shall be considered lost.
Mayor Jim Hemberry said the meeting Dec. 19 is his last regular meeting of the City Council. He thanked everyone at the meeting for their support over the years.
“I am going to miss working with all of you,” Hemberry said. “I am going to miss a lot of things, but mostly I am going to miss the people.”
City Council members and department heads shared their thanks and words of praise for Hemberry’s work as mayor.
Tim Snead also announced that there will be a public open house held for Mayor Hemberry as he leaves office, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Jan. 4, at the Police Department Community Room, where the City Council meetings are held.
Several remarked that they will miss Hemberry as well as the cookies and dishes from Nanette Hemberry.
Building Official Carl Worley joked that, after Hemberry’s term in office ends, he will no longer have to shovel snow from in front of the Hemberry home, a jest that brought roaring laughter. Worley is a neighbor of the Hemberrys.
Mayor-elect Paul Worley, currently a City Council member, brought more laughs, saying that he figures he won’t have to shovel snow at his house in the future, implying that Carl – his brother – might extend the same courtesy to him, the new mayor.
By Dave Burgess, firstname.lastname@example.org