Citizens explore Pullman on city tour

The tour group rode a special Pullman Transit bus that stopped at multiple locations around town to learn about them.

RICK FLORES, Evergreen reporter

Pullman residents got a behind-the-scenes look at many city buildings and departments during the annual city tour Thursday, as officials explained the town’s inner workings.

City Supervisor Adam Lincoln led the tour, which winded through Pullman with stops at the library, the police department and the airport, among other places.

“This is one of the most well-run cities in Washington,” Lincoln said. “Come see what our city employees do to make Pullman a great place to live.”

Mayor Glenn Johnson welcomed tour participants at City Hall, where they learned about which departments residents go to for building permits and utility payments, as well as a senior center for public use. He also said one of the meeting rooms serves as a courtroom for minor cases.

Tour participants explored the Pullman Police Department and its various offices, holding cells, cars and equipment.

Lincoln led the group through downtown to Neill Public Library, where Director Joanna Bailey listed library services, including computers for public use, books on the history of the Palouse and resources for city government. Their main priority is providing books and resources for Pullman children.

The tour group rode a special Pullman Transit bus to view Pump Stations No. 4 and 5, where they learned how the pumps send water throughout the north side of town.

The group visited a service yard for the city’s fleet vehicles, ranging from buses to emergency vehicles and vehicles for city employees. They are all serviced in one building and next to that building is Pullman Transit, where the dispatchers and buses are housed.

After this, the group toured the city maintenance building where vehicles, machines and materials are stored for fixing roads, signs, lights and other city buildings.

The group got to tour the public works water management office and learned how the city conserves water and how it is billed and maintained within the city. Lincoln also took the group to the wastewater treatment plant and explained the process of treating water and eventually releasing it into a river.

KOHLTON STEINKE | The Daily Evergreen
Firefighter Steve Potratz-Lee discusses new equipment tanks and procedures.

As the group rode on the bus toward the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport, Lincoln instructed the driver to go by various city parks, recreation facilities and city-owned cemeteries.

“We cover a lot of ground,” Lincoln said. “Our public works department employs the most people for the city, so that they can work and provide all these services and facilities.”

The tour concluded with a stop at the airport, where Executive Director Tony Bean explained airport operations. They have three Alaska Airline flights over the summer and four during the school year, he said.

“Once the new runway construction is complete,” he said, “then we can have more flights and potentially more airlines to service the area.”

Pullman resident Jessica Do said the tour was a great experience.

“It was really nice to see what goes on behind the scenes,” she said. “My favorite part was the library tour and it was even better that we got library cards on the tour.”