The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Al Stover 

Ritzville Council addresses action items, RPD signing interlocal agreement


March 15, 2018

During the March 6 Ritzville City Council meeting, the Police Chief Dave McCormick informed the Council the Police Department will be joining the Central Basin Investigation Team (CBIT) through an interlocal agreement.

According to CBIT’s website, the team was formed to investigate officer involved shootings, major accidents and use-of-force incidents that resulted in an injury.

In 2009, the CBIT’s board, which is comprised of police chiefs and sheriffs, decided the team would also be available to assist in homicide investigations.

McCormick said Moses Lake Police Chief Kevin Fuhr contacted him and asked the Ritzville Police Department to join the team, which already includes numerous agencies in Adams and Grant counties, and smaller police departments.

He said when an officer is involved in a shooting, fatality or a serious accident, whether or not they are the cause of the incident, the team will be called in to conduct the complete investigation, then file a report with the appropriate prosecuting attorney.

McCormick said there is no cost for the Ritzville Police Department to join the team. However, there is a clause in the agreement where the Police Department would be have to cover the costs of food, shelter or other incidental expenses of the team while they are investigating a case.

In action items, the council passed a resolution allowing Deputy Clerk Michelle Asmussen and Mayor Gary Cook to make changes in the Local Government Investment Pool (LGIP) by removing Debi Balf and Kris Robbins as authorized signers.

Council Member Mike Schrag informed the Council the Finance Committee voted to have the city partner with Adams County Development Council (ACDC), the City of Othello and Adams County regarding retail consultant services.

Schrag explained the cost for the partnership will be $27,000 with the city’s contributing $3,000. Adams County will pay $20,000 while Othello is contributing $4,000.

Partnering with ACDC, Othello and Adams County, will allow Adams County Economic Development Director Stephen McFadden to partner with a retail coach to search for potential businesses to locate in Adams County.

The partnership will allow the city to acquire demographic and sales data at City Hall that staff can present to prospective companies who could locate to Ritzville.

Cook said the partnership will be a $3,000 for the city and provides Ritzville with tools “they would normally not have any other way.”

In other business, Cook informed the Council the Spirit Pruners finished trimming the eight Silver Maple trees at the City Park on March 5. He explained the company had licensed arborists climb into the trees to remove some of the branches.

Cook also provided the Council an update on the vacant Clerk-Treasurer position. He said five different newspapers have advertised the job and there has been interest in the position.

Cook said he will meet with the selection committee to develop a strategy for the interview process and will hopefully hire the City’s new Clerk-Treasurer by the end of March.

During his report, Ritzville Fire Chief Joel Bell said the Fire Department responded to two calls in February. The calls involved individual burning boxes and a false alarm at the Rose Garden Estates. Bell told the Council he spoke to staff about the building’s alarm system.

The Council also received an update for this City’s 2018 Arbor Day celebration and activities.

Schrag informed Council the Ritzville Tree Board committee voted to plan activities for Arbor Day on April 27. He said the organization has contacted fourth and fifth grade classes at both Lind Elementary School and Ritzville Grade School and will have 91 students participating in this year’s event.

Schrag noted Umpqua Bank has once again agreed to provide all of the trees for the students to take home and plant in their yards.

The prizes for this year’s essay contest will consist of gift certificates to local businesses. He added the Arbor Day flag will fly over the courthouse on April 27 and Garth Davis will present a Tree City USA plaque to Cook.

During the Public Works Committee, Council Member Scott Yaeger said the sealed bids for the First Avenue improvement project will likely be open on March 20. He is hoping crews can install a water line on the northside of the street before construction on the project begins.

The next Ritzville City Council meeting will be on March 20 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.


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