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City selects 179th Avenue sidewalk project for grant funding
MONROE - The city is applying for federal grant money to build 800 feet of sidewalk on 179th Avenue from Main Street to 157th Place.
The city chose the 179th Avenue sidewalk project in a 6-1 vote at last week’s City Council meeting.
The project beat out sidewalk projects on Park Lane from Dickinson to 800 feet west and Main Street between state Route 522 and U.S. 2.
The Community Development Block Grant money will come from the federal government and will be distributed by Snohomish County to cities. City administrator Gene Brazel expects the county to receive about $860,000 in CDBG grant funding.
The city estimates the sidewalk project will cost $402,251.
A mother of two who lives on 179th Avenue came to the Oct. 8 meeting to voice her support for the project.
“There are a lot of children, ours included, that are kind of always in danger of that busy street,” Julie McDermott said. “It’s a concern for us that all the children walking home from school have to contend with all the racing motorists.”
The street is a walking school route for Park Place Middle School students and weighed heavily in the council’s decision.
The CDBG funding supports projects in low- to moderate-income areas.
Currently, 179th Avenue doesn’t have sidewalks on either side and is considered a semi-dangerous walkway for kids by residents in the area.
“I appreciate the plan to make 179th safer and more pedestrian-friendly,” McDermott said.
McDermott also asked the City Council to consider looking at a sidewalk installation plan that would avoid cutting into her landscaping if they do end up installing the sidewalk in front of her house. She’s been living in her house for 11 years and has a long-term landscaping plan that she “would hate to see go to waste.”
McDermott is using about 10 feet of the city’s right-of-way as her yard, senior city engineer Jim Gardner said.
The city will do what it can to work with homeowners, but doing the job while meeting city code is the priority, Gardner said.
“If someone has some extraordinary old tree they want to try and save, we’ll try to re-route the sidewalk around it to try and preserve it,” Gardner said. “But putting in the sidewalk is our priority.”
Public works director Brad Feilberg said the 179th Avenue project won’t take away the bike lane on the street.
The deadline to apply for grant funding was Oct. 14. A City Council endorsement is required as part of the submittal package.
The discussion about which project to endorse took up much of the discussion time at the Oct. 8 council meeting. Councilman Kurt Goering provided the dissenting vote.
The council went against the city staff recommendation to endorse the Park Lane project.
The city won’t find out whether or not it is qualified for the grant funds until February or March, Gardner said.
“The 179th project makes the most sense as far as the safety for our kids,” Councilman Kevin Hanford said.

 

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