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Posts tagged: sidewalks

Be careful where you point that snow blower

The next time it snows, think twice before tossing snow from a driveway into the street.

The Spokane City Council on Monday voted 5-1 to outlaw the dumping of snow into public streets or other public property with the exception of planting strips or snow berms created by city plows. Private plow companies caught breaking the law could face a $513 fine. Businesses could be fined $257 and homeowners $52.

Street officials say the law was needed because some plow companies have disregarded requests to stop moving snow into the street.

City Councilman Mike Fagan cast the lone vote against the law. He argued that it is hypocritical for the city to impose fines on people for moving snow into the street when city plows often push snow berms onto private property and sidewalks.

The council nixed a plan to lower the fine for not shoveling sidewalks from $103 to $53. City officials said the proposal to lower the fine was a mistake and requested to maintain the same penalty.

Councilman Mike Allen was absent at Monday's meeting.

Sidewalk money safe with new Spokane City Council

Spokane’s only tax revenue geared specifically for sidewalks won’t be diverted for street paving by the City Council’s new membership.

The council last year narrowly approved a $20-per vehicle tab tax and mandated that 10 percent be spent on sidewalks while the rest be spent on streets.

A majority of members on the more conservative City Council elected in November already said they didn’t support repealing the tax. On Tuesday, it became clear that the sidewalk set-aside is safe, too.

The council voted unanimously to approve two sidewalk construction projects for this year using tab fee revenue. A third sidewalk project was approved on a 6-0 vote with Councilman Mike Allen abstaining because he lives across the street from where the sidewalk will be installed on 29th Avenue.

The projects were recommended by the Citizens Transportation Advisory Board.

Councilwoman Nancy McLaughlin, who voted against setting aside money for sidewalks and the creation of the tab tax last year, said while sidewalks aren’t her first transportation priority, she recognizes that the city has a problem with large sections of missing sidewalks.

“I lost that vote,” she said. “It’s time to move on. I want to help make as good decisions as possible with these dollars.”

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Nick Deshais covers Spokane City Hall for The Spokesman-Review.

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