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City will hold trail meeting next month

Commitment of future lodging tax funds to be considered

 


The new year will kick off with the first major Electric City trail project meeting.

Councilmember Brad Parrish, who is heading up the effort, said last week that he plans a stakeholder meeting Wednesday, Jan. 20, somewhere in the area. That’s about a week after the city council will consider a proposal to commit 150 percent of next year’s projected tourism-tax-fund balance on the pathway along Banks Lake.

The meeting will include stakeholders like Coulee Medical Center; Gray & Osborne; the National Park Service; The NPS Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance; Grant County Health District; Bureau of Reclamation; Washington State University Rural Communities Design Initiative; Coulee Parks & Recreation District; and several residents of Electric City.

Parrish said other groups are being invited but haven’t confirmed that they will be able to attend.

Parrish has been working on the trail idea since spring, and the city council has voted $40,000 from its lodging fund to pay for a trail plan.

The city of Electric City in January will deal with a resolution to be proposed that would dedicate some $400,000 from its hotel/motel reserve fund to the project. The fund is projected to hold some $265,000 at the end of next year, following years of buildup, so such a resolution would commit future collections of the tax, which is collected largely from tourists for the advancement of tourism, to the new pathway. The city takes in about $65,000 a year with the tax.

The trail, if built, would eventually go from the entrance to Sunbanks Lake Resort to Grand Coulee.

The trail would be designed for both bicycle and pedestrian use.

Parrish has pointed out that phase one of the trail, from Coulee Playland to North Dam Park, would eliminate the need for walkers and bike riders to negotiate a “very dangerous” stretch of narrow roadway.

Parrish said there are a number of potential grants that could be available to apply for in 2016, and the hotel/motel fund would provide matching funds to get the grants.

Gray & Osborne, the city’s engineering firm, would do the plans after the public and stakeholders provide comment and information needed.

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