FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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Mayor/City Council

City Clerk/Human Resources

Treasurer

Municipal Airport

Building/Planning

Police

Library

Parks

Recreation

Street

Water/Sewer

Fire


Mayor/City Council

1.     When are City Council meetings?

        The Colville City Council meets on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 170 S. Oak, Colville, WA.

2.     How do I get on the City Council agenda?

        Fill out a “Request to be on the City Council Agenda” form.  This form can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 170 S. Oak, Colville, WA or click here to download a copy.


City Clerk/Human Resources Department

1.     Does the City accept resumes to keep on file?

        No, the City requires a City Application for Employment form when there is a job opening in the City.  No applications or resumes are accepted at any other time.  All City job openings are advertised on this website and in the local newspaper, the Statesman Examiner.

2.     How do I get a copy of a City ordinance?

         Fill out a “Request for Public Records” form.  This form can be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office, City Hall, 170 S. Oak, Colville, WA or click here to download a copy.  The City has up to five (5) working days after receiving a written request to provide the information.  Please note that there is a 15 cent per page charge for public copies.  You can also access City ordinances through the Municipal Code link on this website.


Treasurer Department

 

1.     How much do I owe on my property taxes?

        Property taxes are not paid to the City, but instead to the Stevens County Treasurer.  The phone number is (509) 684-2593.

 

2.     What is the name and phone number of the local sanitation company?

        Sunshine Disposal contracts with the City to pick up solid waste.  Their contact information is below.  more information...

 

Sunshine Disposal & Recycling

11320 W. McFarlane Rd.

Airway Heights, WA  99001

(509) 685-0109

(509) 252-9069 Fax

 

3.     Can I pay my utility bill with a debit/credit card?

        Yes.  The City of Colville has contracted with Official Payments to accept debit/credit payments on its behalf.  Official Payments will charge a transaction fee.  (At this time, Official Payments does not accept Visa card payments.)  You may call (509) 684-5091 for the current fee schedule.  more information...

 

4.     I am a renter; can I open the utility account in my name?

        No.  Per RCW 35.21.290, the property owner is ultimately responsible for utility charges.  As such, your landlord must initiate any additions or changes to the account.  more information...

 

5.     Does my dog need to be licensed?

        Yes.  Dog licenses are renewed annually in January.  Licenses renewed after January 31st will include a $2.00 late fee per month.  Puppies must be licensed at the age of 4 months, immediately after the first rabies vaccination.

        New to town?  Dogs must be licensed within the first month of residence or the $2.00 late fee per month will apply.

       Note:  Proof of rabies must be presented at the time of license purchase.  See Animal Licensing for rates.

 

6.     Do I have to license my cat?

        No.  The City of Colville does not require cats to be licensed.


Municipal Airport

 

Please call the City Clerk's Office at (509) 684-5094 with questions.

 


Building/Planning Department

 

1.     Do I need a building permit?

        The rule of thumb is, if you have to ask, you probably need to secure a permit.  Permits are required for any building or structure which is to be erected, constructed, enlarged, altered, repaired, moved, improved, removed, converted, or demolished unless a separate permit for each building or structure has been first obtained from this department. 

Building Permit form, Mechanical Permit form, Plumbing Permit form

 

2.    What work, if any, is exempt from a permit?

       There are some types of projects which are exempt from the permit process. They are:

       a.  One story detached accessory buildings used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided that the projected roof area does not exceed 200 square feet.

       b.  Oil derricks.

       c.  Movable cases, counters and partitions not over 69" high.

       d.  Retaining walls which are not over 4 feet in height measured form the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, unless supporting surcharge or impounding Class I, II, or III-A liquids.

       e.  Water tanks supported directly upon grade if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons and the ratio of height to diameter or width does not exceed 2 to 1.

       f.  Platforms, walks, and driveways not more than 30 inches above grade and not over any basement or story below.

       g.  Painting, papering and similar finish work.

       h.  Temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery.

       i.  Window awnings supported by an exterior wall of single family and garages when projecting not more than 54 inches.

       j.  Prefabricated swimming pools, less than 24 inches deep, accessory to a single family home in which the pool walls are entirely above the adjacent grade and if the capacity does not exceed 5,000 gallons.

       k.  Fences that are 6 feet in height or less.  Please check the specific requirements for fence construction.

       l.  The Building Official may exempt construction, alternation or repair work where such work is less than $500 in construction value; to be of a non-structural nature; does not include the installation of wood stoves, freestanding fireplaces or other similar heat producing appliances; and is determined to be consistent with the intent of this code and the general health, safety, and welfare of the public.

       Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing and mechanical permits will be required for the above exempted items.

       Exemption from the permit requirements of this code shall not be deemed to grant authorization for any work to be done in any manner in violation of the provisions of this code or any laws or ordinances of this jurisdiction.

 

3.     Is a permit required for a deck?

        Yes, the code requires that a deck located more than thirty inches (30") above the surrounding grade obtain a building permit.

 

4.     Is a permit required to construct a fence?

        No, not for fences six (6) feet or less in height.  The Colville Zoning Ordinance contains fence standards regulating height and placement that must be complied with.  (Please see Colville Municipal Code, Title 17.)

 

5.     Is a permit required to paint the exterior of a house?

        No, a permit is not required for cosmetic improvements such as painting, carpets, or other types of flooring material.

 

6.     Is a permit required to replace the trap on a kitchen sink?

        No, a permit is generally required when the work involves moving a fixture, installing new fixtures or installing drain lines or water supply piping.

 

7.     Is a permit required for installing a new water heater?

        Yes, it is a replacement and requires a permit for the installation.

 

8.     My furnace failed on a Saturday.  I bought a new one exactly like the old one and installed it myself.  It was cold and we needed the heat.  Am I going to be fined for installing the furnace without a permit?

        Emergency repairs or replacements can be done immediately.  However, if a permit would normally be required, you should obtain the permit as soon after the repair or replacement is accomplished to confirm by inspection that the installation meets the code requirements for the repair or replacement.

 

9.     Can I operate a business out of my house?

        Some types of uses are permitted as a home occupation.  For more information, please contact the Department of Building and Planning at (509) 684-5096.

 

10.     What are the specifications for building in the City of Colville?

        Building Structural Design in jurisdiction is subject to the following criteria:

       

Roof Snow Load: 40 pounds/square foot (psf)
Wind Speed (mph): 85 mph (3-second gust)
Seismic Category: B
Subject to Damage from:
     Weathering Frost: Severe
     Depth Line: 30 inches
     Termite: None to slight
     Decay: None to slight
Winter Design Temp: -5 F
Ice Shield Underlayment Requirement: Yes
Flood Hazards: Community Panel  #5301870001B, Zone C, Effective 6/5/85
Air freezing Index: 1331*
Mean Annual Temp: 46.2F

* Information taken from the National Climatic Data Center data table "Air Freezing Index - USA Method (Base 32 Fahrenheit) at www.noaa.gov/fpsf.html.


Police Department

 

Please call (509) 684-2525 with questions.

 


Library

1.      Does the Library have Internet access?

         Yes, the library has free, high-speed Internet access available for library patrons and visitors to the community.  Library computers also have a wide variety of software programs and all computers are attached to a printer.

2.     What does it cost to get a library card?

         Library cards are free to all residents of Stevens County because the Colville Library partners with the Libraries of Stevens County.

3.     Can I check my account from home?

        Yes, you will need a library card and PIN number from any Stevens County Library and then you can check your account on the Library's website www.librariesofstevenscounty.org. From anywhere with Internet access:  you can place requests for materials, renew your checked out items and see a list of what you have out.


Parks Department

 

Please call (509) 684-3086 with questions.

 


Recreation Department

1.     Why are the fees different for City residents and non-residents?

         Because the people who reside within the city limits of Colville support the parks & recreation programs through city taxes, the City offers these people a discount on their registration fees.  Colville city limits are not the same as the school district or the post office boundaries.


Street Department

 

City of Colville Street Map

Snow Plowing Policy

1.     Are you going to have a Spring Cleanup Program?

         The City offers two Spring Cleanup Programs : Program 1 -Yard Waste and 

Program 2 - Household Waste.  Both program dates and times will be advertised on

this website, in the Statesman-Examiner and on KCVL radio.  You may also contact

the Street Dept. at 684-8165. 

Program 1 – Yard Waste

This program starts around the first or second week of April.  Residents may put out brush, tree limbs (6’ or less in length and not more than 6” in diameter), and other leaf and yard debris.  No rocks, dirt, sod, or concrete may be disposed of through this program.  Items should be placed along the curb or at the edge of the street in front of your residence (do not put any yard waste in alleys).  Street crews will pick up the yard waste during a 1-2 week period, only serving each block once.

Program 2 – Household Waste

This program takes place on one Saturday – usually in May.  It is coordinated through our Sanitation Provider, Sunshine Disposal.  Residents may dispose of appliances and other household items under 6 feet in length.  Rocks, dirt, sod, concrete, yard waste, toxic waste, car bodies, commercial or construction waste will not be accepted.  The number of tires is limited to 2 per household.  Residents will be allowed to bring their items (please secure the load properly) to the Water/Street Dept. compound at 1044 N Lincoln on the day of the program only.  Our Sanitation Provider will be on site with trucks and crew to assist you with unloading and disposal.  Your April Water/Sewer utility bill should be shown as proof of residency.  Renters will be allowed to present an April phone or electric bill as proof.  The hours of operation are usually 7 AM to 3 PM. 

2.     Do you pick up leaves in the Fall?

        The City offers a Fall Leaf Pick Up.  It usually starts around Veteran’s day.  Only leaves, pine needles, and garden debris will be picked up.  Tree limbs, brush and grass clippings will not be accepted.

3.     Who takes care of the street lights if they have burned out bulbs or parts are broken, etc.?

        If the light is on City right of way and faces the street, you should contact the Street Dept at 684-8165 to report lights that aren’t working or that appear to be damaged.  Some of these lights are the responsibility of the Street Dept, but most are maintained by Avista Utilities.  In either case, the Street Dept. will determine who is responsible and take the appropriate action. 

         If the light is on private property, such a private parking lot and faces the property, it is the property owner's responsibility.  Area electricians may be able to help you with the problem.

4.     When is my street going to be plowed?

        The order of streets to be plowed is organized on a priority basis, starting with school bus routes, the downtown corridor and major arterials, followed by residential streets and finally, alleys. 


Water/Sewer Department

1.     Why does the City water turn brown at times?

        The water supply in the lower sections of Colville are pumped from three wells located on Church Flat. The water has inorganic materials such as manganese, in the chemistry makeup. The City chlorinates the water supply which in turn oxidizes the suspended materials and allows the particles to settle into water mains and house piping. When the settled particles are subjected to higher velocity flows the particles mix within the water and turn the water brown.

2.     Why does the City flush mains?

         Flushing of water mains has been practiced for many years and by many cities. The three most important reasons for Cities to flush water mains are:

        (1) Lower insurance rates: The State Survey & Rating Bureau rates the maintenance and flows of fire hydrants as one element of a total point system designed to lower regional fire insurance. Fire insurance is based on fire fighting training, equipment, response time, personnel and other criteria. Water main flushing is added into the total point system and helps in the final rating.

        (2) Sediment removal: As hydrants are opened, the velocity increases breaking loose particles attached to the inside of main line pipes. Hydrants are flushed until sediment has been removed to a clear visual consistency.

        (3) Each hydrant is operated twice a year to examine the working condition and flows. If any hydrant is not operating correctly, it is rebuilt or replaced. Hydrant flushing also lets the Department know if a water line valve has been shut off and that all hydrants are receiving water. Hydrant flushing also circulates the water in areas of low consumption or dead end lines.


Fire Department

1.     Is it OK to have an outdoor fire?

        As of January 1, 2007, land-clearing and residential outdoor burning will no longer be legal in any area designated as an Urban Growth Area (UGA) under the Growth Management Act.  The City of Colville, and several other cities in Stevens County, were designated Urban Growth Areas by Stevens County when the county decided to plan under the Growth Management Act several years ago.  The Department of Ecology is committed to working with cities, counties, and citizens groups to promote viable alternatives to burning in all communities, especially those where the ban on open burning takes effect in 2007.  The applicable law and rule involved are RCW 70.94.6514 and WAC 173-425-040.

2.     How do I reach the Fire Chief?

         The City of Colville Fire Department is made up of volunteers and therefore, the Fire hall is not staffed.  You may leave a message on the Fire Department phone (509-684-5928) or call the City Clerk’s Office (509-684-5094) to leave a message.  You may also send him an email at firechief@colville.wa.us.



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MISSION STATEMENT

In partnership with its citizens, businesses and service organizations, the City of Colville will facilitate a forward-looking, people-friendly community that champions our community’s diversity and respects the individual.