Hike funding

Spokane Valley Finalizes Legislative Program with $33 Million Funding Request | Washington

(The Center Square) — Spokane Valley City Council is expected to pass a 2023 legislative agenda on Tuesday that calls for more than $33 million in grants for local and state infrastructure projects.

If the agenda is approved, Spokane Valley will request $5 million next year to complete the Pines Road/Burlington Northern Santa Fe grade separation project. The total cost of the project is $40 million and the city has already received the bulk of state and federal stipend funding.

Last summer, U.S. Senator Patty Murray, D-Bothell, secured $5 million in the 2023 Senate Appropriations Bill to reconfigure the intersection. This funding was added to $21.7 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation and $10.2 million from the Spokane Regional Transportation Council. Additionally, the city received $1 million as part of a consolidated federal grant for rail infrastructure and safety improvements, and nearly $800,000 from Avista Utilities.

If the final round of funding is approved, the Pines Road/BNSF grade separation project is expected to be completed in 2024.

The project includes replacing the existing BNSF crossing at Pines Road with an underpass and redesigning the Pines and Trent Avenue intersection with a roundabout. City officials expect the changes to reduce travel delays in the area where 65 freight trains and two Amtrak passenger trains pass through each day.

Additionally, about 35,000 vehicles use the intersection each day, contributing to about 49 collisions from 2017 to 2021, according to city records. Changes to traffic patterns are expected to improve public safety in the busy corridor.

A study by consulting firm ECONorthwest determined that, over 25 years, the project could pave the way for 8,729 new jobs and bring in millions in new tax revenue.

The roadway reconstruction will open up nearly 170 acres of mixed-use, commercial and industrial land for development.

The project includes a new starting point for the Centennial Trail, as well as toilets and charging stations for electric vehicles.

The city is also asking the legislature to fund two grants totaling $1.5 million for phase two of Greenacres Park improvements. The final phase of work includes the addition of tennis, pickleball and basketball courts, a community garden, expanded parking spaces, and more.

The first phase of improvements was completed in 2012 at a cost of approximately $1.4 million. These works included a playground, an informal amphitheater, shelter and stage, a multipurpose field, walking paths, an enlarged wading pool, a disc golf course and the planting of shade trees.

Land for Greenacres, the city’s first new park since its incorporation in 2003, was purchased 25 years ago from Raymond Brown, Karla Ruddach and Edward Lehman. The park is made up of two parcels that make up 8.3 acres.

Another request to the city’s legislative program for 2023 is a grant of $1.17 million from the Youth Recreation Facilities Program and $1.84 million from the Building for the Arts Program to build an arts center. from the scene. These awards will be supplemented by private contributions to fund a 59,000 square foot center with a 475-seat main stage and a flexible 200-seat studio theater.

Finally, the city is set to seek $24 million to upgrade public stadiums, including the local Avista Stadium that is home to the Spokane Indians.

Politically, Spokane Valley officials will advocate for drug possession to be an arrestable offense again, preferably a felony, and for it to have more funding for treatment programs.

Restoring all police pursuits will also be a priority for the city. Officials want to see more funding to hire, train and protect law enforcement officers and increased resources for alternative response teams, such as behavioral health and homeless outreach specialists.

The city also plans to appeal to the state to remove barriers to building affordable housing and provide tax incentives to increase the supply of available housing.

Spokane Valley officials will again seek to exert more local control over decisions about land use and growth management.