The second round of stimulus funding may be the key to extending the Argonne corridor project.
During Monday night’s Millwood City Council meeting, Mayor Dan Mork read a memo from Matt Gillis, project manager from the engineering firm Welch Comer and Associates, outlining the details of the proposed project and possible funding.
If the funding comes through, the scope of the project would include extending the roadway reconstruction project from Fredrick south to Buckeye and adding enhancements consistent with the Argonne Corridor Study, such as decorative lighting and stamped concrete.
In a phone interview following the meeting, Spokane Regional Transportation Council Government Affairs manager Jeff Selle said the funding could become available through the redistribution of stimulus funds reclaimed from states unable to meet the federal government’s 120-day and one-year deadlines. The funding would be distributed through SRTC.
Selle said the funding is uncertain. If it does become available, communities with “shovel-ready” projects are eligible. Shovel-ready projects are ones that have received federal government approval and are ready to go out to bid.
Because of the nature of the funding, Gillis requested the council approve Welch Comer for the design of the proposed project, even though the funding is not secured.
Before voting on approving the additional design work, Mork requested a cost estimate from Welch Comer.
Preparing for the upcoming sidewalk enhancement project, attorney Brian Werst informed the council that letters went out to property owners along Argonne. According to Werst, the city needs to obtain an easement or permission from property owners before the work begins. He further added, legal documents are planned to be sent out in the next few weeks for the property owners to review.
In other news, Mork announced the city’s purchase of a 9-foot frontal strip of the old McVay Brothers property at 3106 N. Argonne Road. During last September’s council meeting, Jim Breidenbach, president of Craftsmen Construction, presented a proposal for the city to purchase the property. He asked the city to pay $45,250; $20,000 for the land and $25,000 to reimburse his expenses incurred during the construction delay.
The city purchased the property for its appraised value of $23,605. Mork said the city purchase is for the eventual widening of Argonne to create a left-turn lane.
During discussion on traffic management solutions for the Fowler and Empire neighborhoods, Councilman Kevin Freeman asked to approve getting an independent engineering traffic study done of Empire from Argonne to Butler, including Fowler to Empire and Butler to Empire. He requested the city advertise a request for proposal for the study.
Freeman’s decision came after attending a special public meeting regarding traffic concerns on Empire and Fowler Feb. 18.
“One of the things I took away from that meeting is we need to start looking, just as we looked at Argonne, at Empire,” Freeman said. “Not to the depth that we did on Argonne but get some ideas on what would be some ways for just basically traffic calming and speed control for public safety.”
The council unanimously approved Freeman’s request.
Also, Mork appointed Councilman Brian Ellingson as mayor pro tem for the next six months.
The council denied a request for variance from David Black regarding his property at 3614 N. Sargent Road.
The next Millwood Planning Commission meeting is scheduled March 30 at 7 p.m., Millwood City Hall, 9103 E. Frederick Ave.
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