Household hazardous waste collection day is Oct. 30.

The Benton County Commission approved the bid process for a new facility for moderate risk waste like oil and left-over paint and bike lanes down two miles of Dallas Road at their Oct. 12 meeting.

Bike Lanes

The bike lanes on Dallas Road is a cool item. It will cost about $650,000.00 but is paid for by the feds. The commissioners approved advertising for bids.

The county will widen the shoulders on both sides to allow for five-foot bike lanes from milepost 20.20 to milepost 22.22.

Moderate Risk Waste Facility

A second cool item that will affect many more of us is the bid process for a new Moderate Risk Waste Facility (MRWF). The facility is paid for with $1,294,651.19 still in budget and we can obtain a $682,504.00 grant for the project.

Someday that one nicest Saturday of the fall will be given back to us and no more long waiting lines to dump old leftover paint.

Let me catch you up on this decade plus long loss we had. Back in 2010 the MRWF at the dump burned down. If you remember it looked like a chicken coop on the right side as you drove to the dumpsters. Apparently chicken coops are not good places to handle moderate risk waste.

Therefore, a study was performed back in 2015 at the former county road department’s maintenance shop. Turns out it’s a much better place to dump moderate risk waste than a chicken coop! This shop is located at 1709 S. Ely St in Kennewick if you want to give it a drive by.

I think the goal is to have a place year-round to get rid of lots of other stuff you can’t presently dump at the newer Kids’ Kool aid stand at the landfill. It’s also on the right where the chicken coop use to be and you can dump oil, antifreeze, auto and rechargeable batteries, cooking oil, propane and other tanks. That’s a lot for a Kool aid stand.

Hopefully we don’t have to wait another decade for the new MRWF to be done. All the Commissioners did was approve a listing for bids to build, but the design is done!

Household Waste Collection Day, Oct. 30

Speaking of leftover paint, the upcoming October 30 day looks to be really nice because that is when the next Household Hazardous Waste collection day is! Go to 1500 S. Oak St in Kennewick from 8am to 3pm to wait in line to dump that other stuff. Watch what you mix also because you may face the mix transmission/differential fluid sniffing dog and he sends you home where it will mold in the backyard! Here’s a link to the landfill you may need later if you must go to the Koolaid stand which is having problems taking in more oil waste because Kool aid stands are small, so the Oct. 30th maybe it.

Commission rehires an employee who had gone to Richland

In a labor issue I noticed the Commissioners had to approve rehiring a young lady who had gone to the Richland Police Department In Richland she had learned a much-needed skill and the county wanted to bring her back to help them with that skill. The vote was also meant to bring her back at her old pay level. This rehire is a wash for funding because another person at the same pay level is leaving. I am happy to learn how freely employees can transfer between the City and County jobs. It seems like there are so many rules now-a-days limiting employee job changes especially among identical skills. The Commissioners agreed and alls well.

Newly appointed sheriff drops by  

Newly appointed Sheriff Tom Croskrey presented the request for the new hiring described above. He was accompanied by Lt. Erik Magnuson.

The board was happy to see him, and much was said about how long it has been since a Benton County Sheriff approached the board. Croskrey mentioned that the board should expect to see more in communication and transparency from the office of the Sheriff. 

Benton Commission Oct. 5 meeting, meals and other housing keeping

Many of us have seen the travel pay procedures change sometimes as fast as sagebrush rolls through our desert. This was the highlight of this meeting – a change to employee/commissioners travel pay.

Like other growing businesses travel pay changes with size of the company. Our county is growing so changes are in order. It’s become time to eliminates the old way of receipts, errors, and payroll adjustments. Time is wasted tracking this.

Now debit cards will be issued for meals in advance on a per diem rate. Most all meals for employees are within Benton and Franklin Counties but the commissioners have a changing oval shape boundary across counties. Now commissioners can only charge for meals in Benton and Franklin Counties.

The rest was just stuff to keep this county rolling.

Thanks for reading this far!


*Hi, I am Mike Lowery and will be helping the Observer cover events in Benton County. I have
spent about 25 years of my 60 year life in the Tri-Cities, most in Richland. After Army and a
short career working on boats I went on to college at CBC. Then I worked 15 years on
commercial nuclear power plants. We moved back to Tri-Cities and been in Richland for 20
years. I tried to help Hanford for 18 years. I have three degrees from Columbia Basin College,
yes that’s weird. Studied economics and religion at Liberty University, St. Leos College in FL,
University of Illinois, University of Washington more at CBC. House dad now to my working wife, two cats and a dog. Our boy’s all work and study in the northwest. I spend time riding my electric bike or crashing it, building small wood and metal projects, enjoying Electronic Music and camping. Writing is something I love to do but not very good at it.