September 27 - School Board Mtg, 7:00 p.m. - District Board Rooom
September 29 - Distribute Commodities, 9:00 a.m. - City Hall
****The City of Tekoa will be closed on Monday, September 5, for Labor Day. Garbage pick-up will be a day late on Thursday.
“SAVE THE DATE” Shop small on Small Business Saturday, November 26, 2016.
HEALTHY Tekoa News!
Healthy Tekoa Free Family Night this month is the movie Star Wars at the Empire Theater at 6 p.m. on September 6. Reminder: This is a family activity, and children must come with their parent or grandparent to get in for free. Family night promotes bonding. What is bonding? Bonding is warmth, attachment, and commitment. It’s the positive feeling of belonging to a family. Children who are bonded to their family, for example, have good family relationships, are committed to their family, and believe in their family’s values. Youth are less likely to make bad choices that go against the family values and standards when they are bonded to the family. Those who come with friends and no parent/grandparent will have to pay $10 to get in.
Parent workshop Guiding Good Choices is now taking sign-ups. Guiding Good Choices is a class for parents of preteens 10-16, a science-based, proven-effective prevention program that gives parents the skills they need to ensure the future well-being of their children. Healthy Tekoa Coalition offers incentives for completers, meeting times at our local library, and babysitting services. Guiding Good Choices is planned for Tuesdays, October 4, to November 1. Workshops require a minimum of 4 adults. Please call Diane Harp at the Tekoa Library or the grade school at 284-2781 to register. Keep Talking Tekoa!
Murder at the Mystery Manor: A dinner event “to DIEfor”! Brought to you by the Best Western Wheatland Inn, Colfax, WA., October 28 or 29, 2016. Sign up now! Limited availability. RSVP at 509-397-0397.
Tekoa Waste Treatment Plant
One important matter that the residents of Tekoa need to talk about in the coming future is the replacement of the Tekoa Waste Water Treatment Plant. The plant was built around 1950 with upgrades in 1975 and 1990. When the plant was first built, the residential use per household was 25 to 50 gallons per day. Today’s usage is an average of 200 to 250 gallons per day. Along with the water, other things have been put down the drain including household food, chemicals and in some cases diapers, towels and washcloths. Tekoa’s care center along with schools and restaurants in town add food debris which, in turn, adds to the plant bacteria. The current sewer plant is struggling with what is coming from the town, as growth of the town has exceeded the plant’s capability.
Washington State controls the plant activity and what is released from the plant into Hangman Creek Watershed. There are limits on what can be allowed to be flushed into the creek. We have to meet certain tests which deal with ammonia, nitrates, temperature, suspended solids, fecal coliform bacteria, and BoD. The BoD is a test for the amount of food going into the watershed from the operations of the plant bacteria breaking down the waste. Tekoa’s treatment plant is the last system on the watershed for Hangman Creek. Spokane County Conservation District and Spokane River Keepers monitor the watershed for any changes to the flow and water quality. These two organizations watch very closely to make sure that habitat is not damaged.
According to the test results and new limits that EPA is putting on all systems that put waste water into the watershed, we fall behind on the water quality. We must build a new modern plant that will correct the problem of pollution and will last 40 years into the future. Our mayor is looking for grants to offset the total costs. In the meantime, we will see small yearly increases in our bill to offset our share of the loans.
As residents of Tekoa, we must all work together with the mayor to find a solution and come up with a plan on how to meet the future needs of our growth in Tekoa. This is in no way going to be cheap, but it has to be done to make sure the watershed is there for future generations. Water quality is very important to our living here.
Dave Tysz, council member
Messages from the Mayor—
It looks as if our harvest is going well. The weather is cooperating. Just cross your fingers that we can dodge the threat of fire!! As I write this newsletter, 3 fires are raging just to the north and west of us.
At our last council meeting, Alyssa Heagy and Ted Blaszak gave a detailed report on the public safety meetings they hosted. There were several very good suggestions that the council will consider in the near future.
The council approved submitting to the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) 3 projects that included paving Main Street and finishing Park Street. In order to qualify for TIB funding, we need to agree that the city would provide 3% of the project costs. That amounts to a little over $20,000. This money would, in part, come from our annual street levy. However, as I have written before, chip-sealing gravel roads is our first priority with this levy!!
We received two bids on the renovation plans at the theatre and community center. The council decided to throw out these bids and request new bids. One reason for this decision was that neither bid broke down costs associated with each project so we could do some of the work ourselves. An example would be the demolition of the storeroom which will become the new handicapped-accessible restroom!
The council voted to again allow for the burn pile across city hall. This is for Tekoa residents only, and we do not want large chunks of trees (will not burn) or treated lumber. Yard wastes only!!
The city was recently reprimanded by the Spokane River Keepers for a series of violations with our waste water flow into Hangman Creek. Read councilman Tysz’s concerns with our waste water treatment plant and you get the idea that down the road, we are going to be required to have a more efficient operation relative to our waste material.