Construction should begin on portions of Evergreen Road and 32nd Avenue in about four weeks after the Spokane Valley City Council voted Tuesday to award the project to Shamrock Paving.
The original project was to resurface or reconstruct Evergreen from 16th to 32nd and then do a small portion of 32nd to the east of Evergreen after Vera Water and Power installed a new water line. City staff proposed doing a larger section of 32nd as part of $2 million dedicated to street preservation this year. “We added it to the project” said senior capital projects engineer Steve Worley, because it made sense to do Evergreen and 32nd at the same time.
The section of 32nd to be resurfaced is between Highway 27 and Best Road. Worley said staff also decided to install a conduit for the Intelligent Transportation System that connects traffic lights “so we don’t come back later and cut up the road to put in the conduit.”
Councilman Dean Grafos questioned why the extras were not included in the original plan. “I don’t have a problem with the project,” he said. “I think it’s needed.”
The project was brought to the council in February and the street preservation money wasn’t approved by the council until April, Worley said.
Councilman Ben Wick said he approved of the inclusion of the ITS conduit. “This is the opportune moment,” he said. “We’re going to get a better bang for our dollar.”
The winning bid was for $1,503,303, of which Vera Water and Power will pay $785,901. Nine companies submitted bids for the project.
In other business, Mayor Tom Towey took Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau president Cheryl Kilday to task for not including Spokane Valley prominently in promotional literature such as the Visitor’s Guide.
“I would think that you could fit Spokane Valley in there somewhere,” he said.
Kilday said visitors see Spokane as a region, not just a city. “Spokane is the regional brand,” she said. “That’s why Spokane is the lead.”
Towey noted that Kilday’s PowerPoint presentation on the work her organization is doing for Spokane Valley included the phrase “Spokane. Near nature, near perfect,” on every slide. “It would have been nice to see Spokane Valley on there,” he said. “You see what I mean? It’s a complete mindset.”
Councilwoman Brenda Grassel serves on the CVB board. “It has to do with the marketing,” she said. “The brand, to me, is the Spokane region. We are still Spokane County. We are under the umbrella of what people call Spokane.”
It’s a matter of perception and the perception is that the focus is on Spokane, said Councilman Chuck Hafner.
The council also approved renegotiating the lease for the Splash Down water park in Valley Mission Park. The contract used to be based on a percentage of receipts, but in 2009 the lease changed to a set annual fee. A sharp dip in attendance – there were 20 percent fewer visitors in 2011 than in 2009 – made it difficult for the owners to make the lease payments. They are asking to negotiate a lower amount, said Parks and Recreation Director Mike Stone. Under the current contract, the amount due for 2012 is $43,000.
“They have provided a wonderful asset to our community,” Stone said.
Hafner said he wants to make sure Splash Down stays in business. “I’d recommend we do whatever we can, within reason,” he said.
The parks department hopes to conclude negotiations within the week. Splash Down is scheduled to open weekends May 25, weather permitting.