They’re not exactly next-door neighbors. But they’re going to be partners.
On Tuesday, the Spokane Valley City Council unanimously agreed to sign an interlocal agreement with the city of Airway Heights to provide some planning services over the next year.
The pact, which still must be ratified by the Airway Heights City Council, came about when the city manager of the West Plains city contacted Spokane Valley city officials regarding handling plan reviews. According to Mike Jackson, acting Spokane Valley city manager, Airway Heights currently doesn’t have the manpower to do the job on their own and efforts to have Spokane County do the work were unsuccessful as its revising its fee structure.
Spokane, apparently, was never even contacted, Jackson said.
“They came to us next,” Jackson said.
The agreement, depending upon the number of cases Spokane Valley handles, could bring in between $22,000 and $30,000 in revenue, he added. About 40 residential and five commercial reviews are expected.
Council Member Brenda Grassel asked what happens if Airway Heights “goes boom” with applications and Spokane Valley staffers are not able to keep up with the extra work in addition to their own for the city. Jackson said there was a clause to sever the agreement.
Jackson reiterated that the pact should in no was negatively affect the city’s ability to respond to its own citizens in a timely manner.
Airway Heights will handle the preliminary review and deliver the plans to Spokane Valley and will pay slightly lower fee than local city residents. That’s because Airway Heights staffers will do the preliminary review of the plans.
Turnaround to Airway Heights will likely be the same as to Spokane Valley citizens – three to five working days.
Council Member Rose Dempsey said she was happy to see the agreement move forward.
“It’s a good thing to cooperate with our sister city,” she said.
Mayor Tom Towey said he is “encouraged (Airway Heights) came to us for help.”
“It’s a really great cooperative effort,” he said.
In other news, the council approved the first reading of a batch of comprehensive plan amendments that will go before council members April 27 for final approval.
While a proposed amendment requested by a citizen at the corner of Park and Broadway received support from council members, there are still some questions over policy language in one of the two city-generated requests. That topic will be taken up again in two weeks.