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Meeting Minutes :
Sep. 13, 2005 Meeting Minute
North Indian Trail Neighborhood Council
Meeting Minutes for
September 13th, 2005

Welcome and Introductions

Jeff Oas opened the meeting by greeting the members and introducing Co-chair, Craig Culbertson. He explained the purpose of this group is to gather ideas from its members about neighborhood issues. Council representatives will then convey these ideas/concerns to the Community Assembly members who will meet with the City Council to attempt to make changes. This is the route by which the representatives are trying to deal with the moratorium and traffic issues in this area. A united neighborhood council group, consisting of North Indian Trail, Five Mile and South Indian Trail, has been working together to obtain some resolution to the development issues affecting all these areas.
He announced that there is now a blue mail collection box at the shopping center. This has been placed on a temporary basis and will be removed if there is little or no usage. It is located adjacent to the UPS store. There is also a newly opened animal care store in the same center.
The neighborhood alliance is sponsoring a free candidates (for City Council) forum at the Audubon United Methodist church September 15.
Jeff shared the results from a tabulation of the survey which was taken at the Aug. 23rd meeting. Anyone wishing to participate in the survey now can go to the website and follow the current events tab
The results indicated that 104 members who live in the Indian Trail area supported the moratorium on building and 4 asked for more information. In answer to the question as to whether the members were in favor of an oversight board, 93 said yes and 8 asked for more information. The major concern of the respondents were EMS, Fire, and Police services with traffic and street safety the next greatest concern. Concerns about library services and the effectiveness of the Neighborhood Council were also expressed. One hundred seventy four members (from the three neighborhoods) attended the meeting with 135 survey replies from NITNC. Jeff will post all of these numbers on the website soon.


Report from Community Assembly representatives
Jim Bakke and Craig Culbertson, are Indian Trail’s representatives to the Community Assembly. Jim gave a report on the present impact fees required to be paid when an area’s construction is completed. The actual fee is based on whether the construction is residential or commercial. There is an interim ordinance in place asking for voluntary impact fees from developers. The Assembly’s current concern is in regard to the City not following the concurrency ordinances particularly with regard to transportation. These ordinances require that a plan must be in place for dealing with development impacts such as much greater traffic. Last month the County officials had stated that they are not interested in working with the City, now the County wants to work together with other jurisdictions to deal with impacts. Members of the home builders association are saying that they really see a need to develop a transportation infrastructure. Jim invited anyone with questions to see him after the meeting.
Agenda:
Craig said that the survey results show that the people who live in this area really care about their environment and how the neighborhoods function. The City is presently not meeting the concurrency guidelines with regard to developments in the area. Following these guidelines would enable the City to apply for matching funds for infrastructure improvements. There was a big map on the table in the back of the room showing what was both approved and planned for construction. He feels this group needs to work with the developers to deal with the impacts of growth.
One of the concerns expressed by survey respondents was the fact that our area property taxes are being increased while a fair amount of the new construction will enjoy a 10 year tax exemption Craig explained that Spokane City adopted an ordinance some time ago allowing this exemption for multiple unit housing if the builders reserved a percentage of the units for low income families. The Council cannot pick and choose which developers are allowed the exemption, but must approve the exemption for everyone who meets the criteria.
Craig introduced the guest speaker, Bobby Williams, Spokane’s Fire Chief, who gave a report on the goals which have been established for response time to the various calls that are received by fire stations such as ones that are actual fires to someone having a nosebleed that won’t quit. City of Spokane operates 14 fire stations at the present time. These have 17 emergency response apparatus – this is down from 29 about 20 years ago. The departments now reply to a total of 23,000 incidents a year Eighty three percent of the incidents ask for medical services so speed of response is very important.. Chief Williams said that the reason for fewer fire calls is the existence of building codes which require safer construction. Present response time to a fire is five min., 59 seconds due to the time it takes to put on protective gear. When a fire occurs it quickly spreads to a flash-over point and it is very difficult to survive after that happens.
When decisions are made regarding placement of fire stations, population numbers and numbers of incidents are used as a basis. Present stations here all have 3 bays for equipment and their construction is a one time cost whereas the highest cost for fire services is salaries with some operating costs such as electricity. Every station is staffed with EMT personnel to provide service for illness or accident calls and six of the stations have paramedics. Recently fire fighting services were greatly overloaded because of the fires on Indian Trail and N. Monroe at the same time
The reason Station 17 on Lowell would be considered for closing if there are major budget cuts, is that it has far fewer calls than other areas. He explained that in order to fund the fire services at the present level, it has been proposed that the utility tax (on water, sewer and garbage) be increased and asking the voters to approve a property tax increase to fully fund the services.
Dump Passes
Chuck Moser told the group that dump passes will be given out at the next meeting. He has 100 $35.00 passes. Jeff asked people not to call Chuck regarding these, just come to the October meeting early to pick them up.
Crime report
Walt Jones reported on the level of crime which is relatively low and credits that statistic to the fact that he sees less garage doors standing open which keeps burglars out. NOPS staff will be back in October. A bike ID service will be offered. McGruff houses (a safe haven for children)needs more volunteers.
Craig thanked Bobbie Williams for his presentation and asked for volunteers to help with resources .
Jeff said he appreciated the turn out at the meeting
A total of 94 people attended the meeting
A Treasurer’s report was not given..

Respectfully submitted,
Jo Shaw, Secretary
 
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