By Chris Hendrickson, Monitor
SIDEWALK PROJECT GRANT
Monroe City Council Tuesday night discussed three different streets that could use Community Development Board Grant money. The grant funds are available for public facilities and infrastructure projects. In past years grant funding has been used to install sidewalks on West Columbia, Powell and Elizabeth Streets.
Monroe city staff put forth three streets eligible for this year’s grant application, including Park Lane, Main Street and 179th Avenue. The project on the grant application must meet the basic requirement of having no sidewalk along at least one side the street, and it is also recommended that the project serve low to moderate-income areas.
City staff’s preferred option was the Park Lane project, which included 800 feet of five-foot wide sidewalk, curb, gutter and planting strips.
Main Street’s project included the design and construction of approximately 1,165 feet of five-foot sidewalk, curb, gutter, planting strips and ADA ramps.
The 179th Avenue project included 800 feet of sidewalk, curb, gutter, planting strips and ADA ramps. There are currently no sidewalks in place along 179th Avenue.
Julie McDermott, a resident of 179th Avenue, addressed council during the public comments portion of the meeting. While supportive of a sidewalk project for her street, McDermott was concerned with the amount of right-of-way expansion that the preliminary plans reflect.
“As part of this proposal it would take away about 9-1/2 feet of my front yard,” said McDermott.
McDermott continued with some suggestions.
“We’d like to explore making the street safer and more pedestrian-friendly by reducing the travel lane widths on 179th in addition to adding bike lanes and sidewalks,” said McDermott. “A 10-foot travel lane plus five-foot bike path would place the curb just 15 feet from the center line of the road, allowing sidewalk construction without cutting so deeply into the front setbacks of homes on 179th.”
Council was presented with details for all three sidewalk project proposals. Councilmembers Kevin Hanford and Patsy Cudaback preferred the 179th Avenue project over the city’s recommended Park Lane project.
Hanford stated that the 179th Avenue project’s close proximity to the middle school factored heavily in his decision.
“It seems like the 179th option is right there where all the kids are coming from,” said Hanford.
“In looking at these three I would recommend that we do 179th,” said Cudaback.
She explained that she drives down 179th on a daily basis and has noticed kids walking in very close proximity to the street.
“It’s pretty dangerous. There’s not a sidewalk on either side,” said Cudaback. “I would recommend that we look at 179th and we look at options to make it as feasible as possible for the residents there.”
Councilmember Kurt Goering disagreed, favoring the Main Street project.
Cudaback made a motion to proceed with the grant application for a sidewalk project on 179th Avenue. Hanford seconded and the motion passed six to one, with Goering opposed.
The grant application must be delivered to Snohomish County Administration by 4 p.m. on Oct. 14. City council endorsement is required.
2014 PRELIMINARY BUDGET
A PowerPoint presentation will be given at the Oct. 15 council meeting to go over the general fund, governmental funds and internal service funds.