The Spokane Valley City Council is poised to pick which projects it would like to see receive state funding, including sidewalks near schools along with pedestrian and bike paths.
The council got its first look at the list at its Tuesday night meeting and is scheduled to vote on a motion at its April 8 meeting. The Washington State Department of Transportation has allocated $8 million statewide for its Safe Routes to School as well as its Pedestrian and Bicycle Grant programs. The deadlines for jurisdictions to send in their wish lists are May 5 and May 11, respectively.
On the Safe Routes side, most of the council favored adding a proposed sidewalk and bike lane to Evergreen Road between Trent and Wellesley Avenue to serve Trentwood Elementary School.
“It was my first school I worked at,” said former educator and Council Member Chuck Hafner. “It’s been there for 50 years, so it’s time to get some sidewalks.”
Other projects that the council can choose from include sidewalk improvements to Progress Road and Valleyway Avenue to serve Progress Elementary School, on Bowdish Road near Opportunity Elementary School, and along Park Road south of Mission to Broadway for Seth Woodard Elementary.
Not surprisingly, most of the council is anxious to move forward on the planned Appleway Trail running parallel to Sprague Avenue to the south, and state money could be directed toward Phase 3 design work between Evergreen and Conklin roads.
“The Appleway Trail is my number one,” said Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard. “Citizens are clearly for going forward.”
Other pedestrian/bicycle projects could include a new sidewalk on Indiana Avenue east of Pines Road, a bike lane on Evergreen Avenue between Indiana and Mission, and a new sidewalk on Long Road between Boone and Mission in Greenacres.
Mayor Dean Grafos said it might be best for the city to pick two projects in each category and for the city to offer a 5-percent funding match to help entice WSDOT to allocate grant dollars for the Valley projects.
In other news, the council is also set to OK the findings of fact for the commercial production and sale of marijuana in the city at its April 8 meeting. There has been a recreational pot license already issued to Farmer J’s LLC for producing and processing the drug west of Argonne north of I-90.
The company plans on producing and processing legalized marijuana in an indoor industrial facility north of Interstate 90 and west of Argonne Road.