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Pathway project taking first steps

Could cost $3 million to $5 million

 


Three important steps are in the works for Electric City’s pathway project.

That project would, if everything worked out, build a pedestrian and bicycle pathway from Sunbanks Lake Resort to North Dam Park, in different phases.

Phase one would be from Coulee Playland to North Dam Park. No date has been set for the start of the project, but one meeting was held last Tuesday. That phase is estimated at $500,000.

One of the first steps will occur next Tuesday when the city council is expected to provide $40,000 from its lodging tax money for a comprehensive pathway plan.

Step two was the announcement by the city that the National Park Service’s Rivers Trails and Conservation Assistance program is aboard to help the city with the Pathway project.

Step three was the announcement that the Rural Communities Design Initiative (RCDI), through Washington State University, will also be involved.

Russ Powers, deputy city clerk, said a meeting has been set Jan. 20, when the community will get its first opportunity to meet and gain information on the project.

RTCA, the National Park Service-affiliated group, helps communities with projects to define goals, inventory their resources, engage collaborative partners, design community outreach, set priorities and build consensus in the community, and even help identify funding sources.

The RCDI group will provide university graduate students, working with faculty, to put on workshops and help the community join its tangible needs with the creative resources of university students and faculty.

The pathway project, started last spring by Councilmember Brad Parrish, is moving along rather quickly. He has worked, in the early stages of the project, with Bureau of Reclamation officials and officials from the Grant County Health District to sell the idea.

Overall, the entire project could cost some $3 million to $5 million, much of it matching money grants.

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