Two future road projects got the green light from the Spokane Valley City Council on Tuesday night, which will require just under $832,000 in matching funds from the city.
While some council members are concerned that the drawdown in city Real Estate Excise Tax funds could impact other potential capital projects in 2012, council members agreed 6-0 to move ahead with plans to connect Mansfield Avenue from Pines Road eastward to the Mirabeau Parkway and to reconstruct Sprague Avenue between Sullivan and Evergreen roads. Mayor Tom Towey was not present.
In order to receive the state Transportation Improvement Board funding, which would provide over $3 million for the Sprague work, the city must advertise for bids no later than March 19 and give notice to the chosen contractor to proceed no later than May 19 of next year, said Steve Worley, senior capital projects engineer.
“If we don’t meet that date the funds are rescinded,” Worley said, but added that the city has enough REET funds to meet the local match for both projects.
Council Member Arne Woodard reminded the council that the city has other capital projects it would like to see done.
“It’s important to remember that,” he said.
The Sprague project, which will require $773,000 in city matching funds, will impact businesses along the busy arterial over the summer months. A complete “grind and overlay” is needed, Worley said, as the roadway needs to be reconstructed.
“We want to give a heads-up,” Worley said. “There will be impacts.”
Workshops have been scheduled with business owners to provide information and to receive feedback, and there will be an open house to receive input from the public.
“We want to accommodate business the best we can,” he added.
The project is expected to take two or three months.
Council Member Dean Grafos said he has heard concerns about the possibility of the city removing the stoplight at Progress and Sprague as a result of the work. Traffic is now lighter in the area due to the closure of the Yoke’s supermarket, however Worley said the city has received e-mails that pedestrians make use of the light to be able to cross the street.
“If we decide not to remove it, I don’t think the TIB will have a problem,” Worley said. “TIB is a pedestrian-friendly organization.”
Work on the Mansfield project likely wouldn’t begin until 2013. Right-of-way still needs to be purchased, and property acquisition will be necessary where a housing unit sits – although that will be done with a consultant’s help.
“There’s a formal process we must go through,” Worley said, adding that property owners will be compensated.
“It’s all fair,” he said. “We can’t treat people unfairly on this.”
In other news, the council:
- witnessed as two appointed members, Woodard and Chuck Hafner, were sworn into office. New Council Member Ben Wick will be sworn in Dec. 27, as his term begins in January.
- unanimously approved a code change that will allow for recycling facilities to be located within the “corridor mixed use, community commercial” and “regional commercial” zones.
- agreed to a quitclaim deed that will allow a portion of Brown’s Park at Pines and 32nd Avenue to be returned to the city from the Spokane Valley Fire Department, which no longer needs the land for a future fire station.
- heard a report that the city is planning to work with the Spokane Valley Arts Council to develop land at Sprague and Appleway west of Thierman as a “gateway” to the city to be marked with a welcome sign and public artwork. Staff will report back before any future decisions are made.
- learned that the Spokane Valley Police Department is now accredited with the Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs. The effort required the department meeting 140 standards in 20 major law-enforcement areas. Spokane Valley now has one of 54 certified agencies out of 274 in the state.