All roads are leading to Spokane Valley needing to spend up to $3 million more a year to keep its streets up to snuff.
At its last meetings of the year last week, the Spokane Valley City Council heard a report from Eric Guth, public works director, who said that the current $4 million per year the city has been paying for road preservation and reconstruction is not sustainable in the long run.
Rather, Guth said, a survey of the city’s streets shows that amount should be closer to $7 million. Of course, that wouldn’t necessarily have to come out of the city’s coffers – grant dollars currently account for about $1 million of that amount each year.
The good news, however, is that the streets are not especially in bad shape – particularly on Spokane Valley’s north end where sewer work has been done most recently and the streets repaved afterward. According to the Overall Condition Index, the average rating of Spokane Valley streets is 68 out of 100.
Very few, Guth said, have an OCI ranking of less than 50.
Council Member Dean Grafos expressed some confusion, believing the city spends more than $4 million per year on streets. City Manager Mike Jackson said, however, that number is an average and that more money has actually been spent in recent years.
“We are trying to find more ways to spend more for preservation,” Jackson said.
Guth added that the city is attempting to focus less on the city’s most damaged streets and looking toward rehabilitating others before they get too bad. Meanwhile, the city would continue to look at additional grant opportunities and revenue streams in order to make up the difference.
“I think that we’ve done a lot (for road preservation) over the last couple of years,” said Mayor Tom Towey, presiding over his final meeting on the council.