The Spokane Valley City Council grudgingly agreed to get out its checkbook on Tuesday night.
The council unanimously OK’d a deal with Spokane County to fix a section of roadway in the Ponderosa neighborhood that’s been plagued with standing water and ice since sewer lines were put in back in 2009.
The memorandum of understanding calls for the city of Spokane Valley to pay for 50 percent of the estimated $157,000 in construction costs and the entire construction management price, estimated to come to $16,500. The county, in turn, will pay for the design costs.
The final cost for Spokane Valley: $95,000.
Where the heartburn comes in is that it was Spokane County that did the work.
The sewer was put in as part of the countywide Septic Tank Elimination Program, and when crews repaved the roadway it was done in a way that water no longer sufficiently drains.
Hence, now there is ice in the winter and pools of water during the rainy seasons where the work was done on the south half of 48th Avenue east of Woodruff Road and a cul-de-sac at Sundown Court.
“I’ve lived there for 22 years and never had this problem before,” said Kent Moseman, who lives on 48th.
Former City Council Member Bill Gothmann is also a resident of the area.
“Going out to get the mail or paper should not have to be an occasion for an accident,” he said. “It should be safe.”
Council Member Chuck Hafner, a longtime resident of Ponderosa as well, agreed that something needs to be done. However, he isn’t entirely happy that the city has to pay for any of the costs.
“It was the county that was responsible for this mess so it should be responsible for paying for it,” Hafner said. “But it has to be fixed.”
City staff members have attempted to get Spokane County to deal with the issue but found themselves at loggerheads. In the end, according to City Attorney Cary Driskell, this was the best deal that could be worked out.
Council Member Dean Grafos said he hopes similar problems can be avoided in the future. As the sewering of the Spokane Valley area has reached its conclusion, that seems likely.
“I want to thank the residents of 48th who have been so patient with us,” said Mayor Tom Towey. “I think the staff did the most reasonable solution we could come up with. We have to bite the bullet and move on.”