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Yakima County to operate municipal court in Grandview

GRANDVIEW - The Grandview City Council approved a contract at last night's meeting to allow Yakima County to provide municipal court services to the city of Grandview.

City Administrator Scott Staples told the council not much would change. People going to court in Grandview will now attend the District Court on Yakima Valley Highway in Grandview. All fines will also be paid there.

The move was initiated when Grandview Municipal Court Judge Rickey Kimbrough submitted his resignation, effective Dec. 31, 2006, last October.

The city could have sought to hire another municipal judge but found it could save approximately $50,000 if they contracted with the county.

Staples said discussions started last August with the county. The city will pay $85,000 a year for the municipal court services the county will offer.

This number is based on a formula considering how many cases are heard each year. Yakima County Judge Michael McCarthy told the council this number could be higher or lower next year, depending on the case load.

This agreement will be good for Yakima County and the city of Grandview, McCarthy told the council.

The agreement goes into effect Feb. 1, 2007 and McCarthy has agreed to hear cases in the month of January 2007 after Kimbrough leaves.

Persons who are in custody at the Grandview jail will be transported to the court by the Grandview police, which will be responsible for their security while in attendance in court.

Also at last night's meeting, the council unanimously adopted a $12.4 million budget for 2007.

By making some cuts to the proposed budget, the city was able to balance it. Staples said the police department will not receive an additional police officer, saving the city $72,000. The city was also able to save $35,000 by moving three employees from parks and recreation over to public works for part of the year.

Staples said the city is hoping to save an additional $50,000 by offering a different health plan to its union employees.

To help with revenue, the council also approved several ordinances raising the rates for sewer, irrigation and garbage. Staples said the average impact on a single family home will be 41¢ a month more for sewer rates, 28¢ a month more for irrigation water rates and 92¢ a month more for garbage rates.

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