Cheney Free Press -

By Lee Hughes
Staff Reporter 

Money for ML streets

Council accepts half-million dollar grrant for street repair, addresses stormwater and sump pump discharge issues

 

December 27, 2018



The Medical Lake City Council voted to sign an agreement associated with a $504,365 grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board for various improvements to city streets at it’s Dec. 18 meeting.

The agreement requires the city to contribute $26,545 in matching funds.

The work is two fold, according to City Manager Doug Ross. First, the city will be repairing streets suffering from deteriorating asphalt. The work will remove and replace the asphalt and, where necessary, dig out and repair the base courses beneath.

The project also includes mitigating stormwater drainage and residential sump pump discharge.

One local subdivision was initially constructed over a wet area, according to Ross, forcing some residents to install sump pumps to mitigate ground water intrusion into their homes.

“People have had issues,” Ross said.

What requires mitigation is where that pumped water is released. Many people discharge their sump pump water into the city’s sewer system, which is illegal, according to Ross.

How to deal with that discharge has yet to be determined. Finding a solution will be part of the projects scope in conjunction with stormwater issues, Ross said.

City streets within the project area include Pineview, Evergreen, Stanley Drive and Sherman Avenue, Legg Street to Stanley Court; Barker Street and Fellows Street, according to TIB grant documents.

In addition to providing matching funds, the city is also required to sign an agreement that restricts the use of the TIB funds to street repairs. And although the agreement allows for minor changes and additional project development, the intended use of the funds cannot be substantially altered during the design and construction process from that specified in the grant application.

The grant can also be withdrawn for reasons including unreasonable project delays, according to TIB documents.

TIB grant money is derived from gas and fuel taxes, and must be used specifically for roads.

The grant is part of the TIB Small City Arterial Program, or SCAP, that sets aside three cents of statewide gas taxes to fund projects in cities with a population of between 1,000 and 5,000, according to the TIB website.

SCAP requires grant recipients to contribute five percent of the grant amount.

The SCAP program is competitive. Just over $12 million was available from the program in the current grant cycle. Although 45 applications totaling over $21 million were submitted, only 26 projects were selected.

Washington state currently collects 49.4-cents for each gallon of gas and diesel fuel sold at the pump, an 11.9-cent increase from 2011 taxing levels, according to the Department of Revenue.

“Whenever you approve these two-cent fuel tax increases … this is part of what that money specifically goes to, and that’s why we have to sign this agreement that says we’re taking your tax dollars and using it on the roads,” Ross told the council. “There is good sometimes in tax increases.”

Ross said the city anticipates project completion sometime between late summer and early fall.

Lee Hughes can be reached at lee@cheneyfreepress.com.

 

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