Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877


By Madysen McLain
Gazette Reporter 

Commissioners, staff discuss variety of topics


June 20, 2019

County commissioners and employees discussed recycling costs and improvement projects for Whitman County at a workshop session Monday morning.

Commissioner Dean Kinzer reported an update from the recent Solid Waste Advisory Committee meeting. He said it is now $100 a ton to move recycling items out of the county waste transfer station, and $15 a ton for cardboard.

“Costs for recycling are basically upside down,” Kinzer said.

Those using the transfer station to recycle will be the ones who will feel the rising costs, he said.

“They're saying it's not going to change,” Kinzer said.

He said the Washington state budget increased a significant amount this year, but the budget for solid waste grants were cut in half.

Public Works Director Mark Storey said the county used to receive more than $300,000 per biennium to pay for the recycling program.

“I think we're at $150,000 or $160,000 for two years now, so that's about half,” Storey said.

Administrative Director Gary Petrovich also mentioned the $500,000 capital improvement program loan to county emergency communications will be half paid off on July 1.

He said $250,000 is going to be paid back, along with $40,000 of interest. These funds will be used for more Capital Improvement Program projects next year.

County Facilities Director Brandy Dean said several projects are in the works to be completed by the end of summer.

She said asphalt was laid behind the Public Service Building by the IT office in downtown Colfax Wednesday. Then, at the elections building a new handicap spot will be installed to comply with ADA regulations.

“Hopefully it'll be a lot nicer,” Dean said. “With that broken concrete nobody with a cane or wheelchair would have been able to use that spot.”

The facilities department also installed active shooter locks in the auditor's office and is working on installing them in the courthouse, Dean said.

She said the plywood boards on the Public Service Building were painted a brick color Thursday after receiving complaints.

Dean added upcoming projects for this summer include repairing and repaving sidewalks around Colfax.

“This is for aesthetics and maintenance,” she said. “There needs to be preservation of what's there.”

Island Street and the entrance to the courthouse area will be priorities for new pavement.

Dean said the company that quoted the project said they would rip out and replace a big portion of Island Street, but another portion would be resurfaced.

“I think if we don't get that sealed up and resurfaced, we're going to have even worse damage from the de-icer in the winter,” she said.


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