Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Bulletin column - Nov. 19, 2009


November 19, 2009

These reports are from the previous five issues of the Daily Bulletin in Colfax. They are reprinted here for the benefit of Gazette readers who reside outside of Colfax. Some accounts have been updated.

Start Orlandi memorial fund

The crew at Colfax Arby’s has organized a fund in memory of Aurora Orlandi, the eight month old daughter of David and Ashley Schu Orlandi who died suddenly Nov. 10 at her Colfax home. David Orlandi is a member of the Arby’s staff.

Donations to the fund can be made at any branch of the Bank of America. Services for the baby were yesterday at Colfax Church of the Nazarene.

City charts sales tax gain

Colfax state sales tax revenue is now charted to come in $19,000 over the budgeted amount, according to a revenue report prepared by Treasurer Mark Clinton. Colfax had anticipated $391,000 in sales tax revenue for 2009, and it now looks like the total will be in the neighborhood of $410,000.

The city has booked improved returns from the state’s streamlined sales tax which was introduced in July of last year. The change credits sales tax proceeds on internet transactions to the place of purchase instead of the source of sales.

Colfax last year totaled $497,146 in sales tax proceeds. Clinton said that was an usually high figure because of tax proceeds linked to purchase of materials for the Whitman Hospital construction project.

Sales tax revenue to date this year for Colfax is $340,732 with proceeds from two months still outstanding. The 2008 tax total was $127,146 over expectations.

Clinton noted in his revenue report to the city council last week that real estate excise taxes will take a hit this year. The city has budgeted $27,000 for its share of excise tax revenue, which is paid through the county treasurer’s office, and the total in proceeds to date this year is $12,824. Clinton noted revenues from the excise tax are required to be used in capital fund spending which will be about $12,000 short of the budgeted amount.

City tax hike gets 5-2 okay

Colfax City Council Monday night voted 5-2 to approve a one percent increase in property tax income for next year’s budget. The vote was taken after an official public hearing which is required under present state law.

The hike will mean the city will get another $3,614 in tax revenue for next year. In addition the city will gain $3,538 in taxes on new construction which was added to the rolls inside of Colfax last year.

The two additions will put property tax revenue at $368,610 for 2010. City Treasurer Mark Clinton told council members the tax hike will not be expected to bump the amount of the actual tax levy. The assessed value of Colfax for 2009 is $144,571,157. The city has not yet received a valuation for 2010. The tax hike will average about $3.14 per household.

The city vote Monday included a pledge to use all the additional tax revenue for the park fund which operated $13,697 in the red last year. Clinton said the park fund reserves are now down to $35,000 which means at the current rate they will be gone in another two to three years.

Council Members David Nails and Kathy Baune voted against the one percent hike. Earl Leland, Jeremiah Roberts, Don Henderson, Jeannette Solimine and Thomas Huntwork voted in favor.

Tolan booked on multiple charges

Darlo Tolan, 22, former Colfax resident now of Moscow, was booked into the county jail Monday night for alleged burglary, vehicle prowling and multiple assault charges. Tolan was arrested Monday afternoon outside of an apartment on NE Maiden Lane in Pullman.

The Pullman police report Tolan got into a dispute with his sister and two other occupants of the apartment. Tolan’s sister and Tolan were both injured in the dispute.

A first appearance was expected Tuesday in superior court. Formal charges had not been filed as of press time.

Fire damages Colfax house

Colfax fire crews responded last Wednesday night, Nov. 11, to a report of smoke in a house on the far end of S. East Street. The fire was believed to have been started as the result of a repair project which had been done earlier in the day. The new owner of the house was making foundation repairs earlier in the day with the use of heating equipment. He left in the afternoon and discovered the smoldering fire when he returned. The fire was reported at 8:16 p.m.

Crews cut out wall panels and flooring to gain access to the smoldering fire. Three Colfax fire trucks, 15 crew members and an ambulance responded to the scene.

The house is located across S. East Street from the southeast corner of the former St. Ignatius Manor Building.

Order stay in Lawrence case

A 90-day stay in the Lewis Lawrence case to allow the defendant to undergo treatment at Eastern State Hospital was ordered Nov. 12 in superior court. Lawrence, 20, faces three charges of attempted murder last March when he allegedly discharged a shotgun into an occupied apartment in Pullman.

Friday’s court order detailed the type of antipsychotic medication to be involved in the treatment. The court issued the stay after Dr. Greg Wilson of Pullman testified on Lawrence’s mental condition during a hearing.

Cycle rider jailed 14 days

Gerald D. Redding, 20, Redmond, motorcycle rider who led officers on a high speed chase across Highway 26 Aug. 30, was sentenced Friday in Whitman County Superior Court to 14 days in jail after pleading guilty to a charge of attempting to elude officers. Redding was also ordered to pay $1,550 in fines and fees.

His license was also revoked for one year or until re-instated by the state’s Department of Licensing.

Redding was eventually arrested in Adams County near mile marker 57 on Highway 26. He was riding a Honda 600 CBR.

Sheriff Brett Myers said the chase started at mile marker 107 in the LaCrosse area. A deputy chased the cycle westbound at speeds which were reported to be over 92 miles per hour. The chase started at 4 p.m. and lasted for approximately 20 minutes before Redding was stopped in Adams County.

Redding Friday was ordered to report to jail to begin serving his sentence Dec.1.


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