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Spokane Valley council plans public hearings on road projects and budget amendment

UPDATED: Wed., May 17, 2017, 4:24 p.m.

Kelly Stickelmyer directs traffic on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, on Barker Road in Spokane Valley, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)
Kelly Stickelmyer directs traffic on Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, on Barker Road in Spokane Valley, Wash. (Tyler Tjomsland / The Spokesman-Review)

Two public hearings are scheduled for the Spokane Valley City Council meeting on May 23: the 2018-23 transportation improvement program which consists of dozens of road improvement and pavement preservation projects that have the city’s highest priority, and a budget amendment.

The transportation improvement program, or TIP, is what determines which road projects the city will focus on and try to get grant money for in the next five years.

On the long list are two railroad crossings: a grade separation that would take Pines Road under the BNSF railroad tracks at an estimated cost of $18.6 million and a Barker Road grade separation that staff believes may cost $16.8 million.

Spokane Valley Economic Development Manager Mike Basinger said staff is using a team approach as road projects are selected to make sure they are prioritized correctly.

Staff is reaching out to utility companies to make sure road and sewer projects are staggered correctly to avoid a situation where a newly paved road has to be dug up for a water line.

On the list are also improvements to the intersection of Barker Road and Sprague Avenue, where new housing developments have increased traffic to a point where it backs up for blocks during peak hours.

The Appleway Trail section from Sullivan Road to Evergreen Road made the cut as well, as did a major repaving project on Argonne Road, near the freeway overpass.

Basinger said the reason for the relatively short notice before the first public hearing is that he wants to get the TIP to the state in a timely manner.

The other public hearing at next week’s meeting will address the 2017 budget amendment.

This amendment includes additional expenditures of $3,494,309 – the bulk of which consists of approximately $3 million being transferred to the capital reserve fund.

Among other expenditures are an additional nearly $30,000 for payroll to make up for the increase in minimum wage and $25,000 for the city’s pool contract with the YMCA for the same reason.

Connecting the new splash pad in Browns Park to water and power, after Spokane County Water District 3 closed its well there, will cost the city around $55,000.

And $258,000 will be transferred to the winter weather reserve fund, bringing the fund to $500,000.

The entire budget amendment and the TIP are available online at www.spokanevalley.org


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