By RACHAL PINKERTON
OTHELLO — Avery Fields, a recent high school graduate, was recognized during a meeting of the Othello City Council on Monday for his four years of service and commitment to the Police Explorer program.
Karissa Witthuhn and Christina Wollman presented the findings and recommendations of the Highway 26 transportation study. At Thacker, Taylor and Moon roads, they recommended adding or enlarging turning lanes. At Moon Road they recommended adding lighting. Roundabouts were recommended for First and 14th avenues. While roundabouts are the mostly costly of the options considered, they are also considered the safest for traffic and pedestrians.
The study was conducted with the input of stakeholders, citizens and simulated traffic models. Highway 26 is a limited-access highway, with only a certain number of access points allowed. A complete report will be submitted to the city in the future.
Spencer Williams, Othello’s finance officer, gave the council a report of the city’s debt.
“The deposition of the city is good,” said Williams.
As of now, the city has $3.5 million worth of loan payments between now and 2031. Some of the payments go toward repaying bonds acquired for work on Main Street. Originally, final repayment was scheduled for 2035. Some of those bonds have been refinanced, bringing the final repayment to 2031.
“We are saving almost a half a million dollars,” Williams said. “Our overall debt position is quite good.”
The city has been approved for a $1.7 million loan for work needed on Well 3. It would be a 40-year loan.
The council approved the addition of one portable to be added to Hiawatha, Lutacaga and Wahitis schools with some conditions. Currently, the schools are unplatted. Wahitis is in the process of being platted. Once the schools are platted, they will be able to add portables without the approval of city council.
Shannon & Wilson, Inc. of Pasco was awarded a contract for the city’s geo-technical engineering and material testing needs on a project-by-project basis. The council approved the company to perform a standard geo-technical service and report.
The council also approved CBHA’s second annual “Run for a Cause,” which is designed to raise awareness of childhood conditions that affect families in the Columbia Basin. They also approved the use of Lions Park for the annual Fourth of July celebration, which is put on the Othello Chamber of Commerce. Part of the resolution waived the staff and facilities fees, as it is a joint venture with the city.
The council approved an agreement for shelter services between the city and Adams County Pet Rescue for an animal control officer contract. Othello Police Chief Phil Schenck said that one of the jobs of the animal catcher is to remove dead animals.
“That is important,” said Schenck. “They also do other kinds of animals, like the iguana running down the middle of Broadway or horses. We haven’t had emus yet, but we will.”
The animal catcher is also able to write citations.
Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.