July 12, 2012 in Washington Voices

City’s portion of street repair is $95k

Agreement splits cost with county to fix 48th Ave.
By The Spokesman-Review
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Residents in the Ponderosa neighborhood will get a faulty street fixed, but the unanimous vote by the Spokane Valley City Council to pay half of the repair costs apparently left a bad taste for several of the council members.

The vote approved an agreement to split the cost of repairs with Spokane County, with the city’s share estimated to be $95,000. Residents along Sundown Court and 48th Avenue to the east of Woodruff Road have complained that the road stopped draining properly after the county installed sewer lines and repaved the road in 2009. The county has maintained that it is not at fault for the mistake and the city has been trying to get the county to fix the road.

City attorney Cary Driskell acknowledged that the agreement wasn’t the best deal for the city. “It allows us to move forward sooner rather than later,” he said.

“We come out on the short end of the stick,” said Councilman Chuck Hafner.

Former council member Bill Gothmann, who lives on the affected section of 48th Avenue, urged the council to approve the agreement. Water doesn’t drain off the road and instead pools up, he said. In the winter the pools turn to ice. “Going out to get your mail or the paper should not be an occasion for accidents,” he said.

Kent Moosman, who also lives on 48th Avenue, said he once went out to get his paper and slipped on the ice. “My feet went flying out from underneath me and my head smacked the pavement,” he said. “I was seeing stars for a week.”

Hafner said he doesn’t like having to pay half the cost, but the road must be fixed. “The county was responsible for making the mess,” he said. “They should take care of it.”

Councilman Arne Woodard also expressed displeasure with paying to fix the problem. “There comes a time when you quit the battle and move on,” he said.

“I think the staff did the most reasonable solution we could come up with,” said Mayor Tom Towey. “We have to bite the bullet.”

In other business, the council unanimously awarded a contract to complete the paving of University Road between Fourth and 16th avenues to Spokane Rock Products for $226,481. The city used its street maintenance contract with Poe Asphalt to have the pavement ground down and the sidewalk ramps upgraded, said senior capital projects engineer Steve Worley. The contract was just for repaving.

The city received five bids and all were well under the estimated cost of $294,752. Woodard said the second place bid from Knife River Corp. was only $500 higher than the winning bid.

The council also heard a report on suggested changes to the city’s nuisance code. Several items could be added, Driskell said, including odors caused by animal feces. “Our code enforcement officers have gone out to some places and it is substantial,” he said.

The proposed language also includes additional restrictions on yard sales. Currently yard sales can be held for no more than seven consecutive days or more than two consecutive weekends. Despite the rules, people are still figuring out ways to have nearly continuous yard sales, Driskell said. “We’ve had some complaints from citizens,” he said. “The comments we’ve received is that it’s not strong enough.”

Council members discussed adding a limit on the number of yard sales per calendar year. Councilwoman Brenda Grassel said she drives through a neighborhood where there is always a yard sale. “It can be a problem,” she said. She suggested limiting sales to three consecutive days and only allowing four a year.

Woodard says he knows of a permanent estate sale on Fourth Avenue. “It’s definitely a business,” he said. “I think we need to put some more teeth in it.”

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