Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spokane City Streets Meeting Tonight

A reminder that the City of Spokane is hosting a meeting tonight and several in coming weeks on a
refinancing proposal to maintain and rebuild streets and update Riverfront Park. The meeting schedule is:
·         Thursday, May 15, City Council Chambers, lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd, 5:30 p.m. This meeting will be taped for replay on CityCable 5.
·         Tuesday, May 20, Jefferson Elementary School, 123 E. 37th Ave., 6:30 p.m.
·         Thursday, May 22, West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt, 5:30 p.m.
·         Tuesday, May 27, Lidgerwood Elementary School, 5510 N. Lidgerwood St., 5510 N. Lidgerwood St., 6:30 pm.
·         Wednesday, May 28, Southside Senior Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave., 5:30 p.m.
·         Thursday, May 29, Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St., 5:30 p.m.

Currently, Spokane’s citizens pay 91 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value toward the repayment of three street and park bonds. With strategic refinancing, the streets and parks refinancing proposal could be used to provide:

·         $25 million annually for street funding.  That level of spending, which includes matching funding, would maintain the level of street work completed annually on under the 2004 Street Bond.  Work could be focused on the City’s arterials.
·         $60 million for implementation of the new Riverfront Park Master Plan, which was developed with considerable public input.
·         Retirement of the current debt.

Spokane citizens currently are repaying the 2004 Street Bond. That includes 57 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, or $57 a year on a $100,000 home, for repayment of the 2004 Street Bond. Payments are currently scheduled to continue for another 16 years without any additional street improvements.

For that same 57 cents per $1,000 of value, a levy would generate around $5 million a year to fund new street work. Those funds would be matched with state, local, and federal transportation and utility dollars to support about $25 million in street improvements annually.  The City would take an integrated approach to this work, prioritizing projects based on multiple needs, including pavement condition, bicycle and pedestrian improvements, mass transit, utility infrastructure, strowmwater management, and economic development opportunities.

Remember, if you attend the meetings, let it be known what you would like to see funded by the proposed program. That means sidewalks, crosswalks, bike lanes, etc.; if it's important to you, speak up!

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About SRTC

SRTC is the federally designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for Spokane County. Urbanized areas with populations exceeding 50,000 people are required to have an MPO. SRTC was formed to address the county's transportation planning needs. It provides coordination in planning between the public, cities, small towns, the county, the state, transit providers, and tribes.

SRTC offers services including transportation monitoring, transportation modeling, census information analysis, travel demand forecasting, historical traffic count analysis, geographic information systems, and trip generation rates.