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Pathway discussion set for Saturday


Electric City will hold the first of two planned community meetings to discuss its plan for a Pathway Trail through the city. The full topic will be parks, recreation and revitalization.

The meeting will be from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, May 14, in the Veteran’s Hall in Electric City.

The public is invited to participate by offering ideas they might have about any possible trail system.

Running the meeting will be a team from Washington State University’s Rural Communities Design Initiative, made up of two professors and several students.

A second meeting is planned as a follow-up, but a date for that meeting hasn’t been set.

The WSU team, using results from a community survey that was finished last Wednesday, will share what people who took the survey have noted about the proposed trail system and help shape information that can be used later.

The city plans to use hotel/motel funds, totaling up to $40,000, to develop a trail plan, and to pay the expenses of the WSU team. Phase one, as far as discussions have gone, would develop a trail from Coulee Playland to North Dam Park, probably the most dangerous of current walking areas in the city.

The city council last year voted to hold $400,000 of hotel/motel monies in reserve for the trail, even though this has been criticized by some.

The city takes in between $65,000 and $70,000 annual from hotel/motel host firms within its city limits.

The city hopes that out of these meetings a plan will be put together for its newest park, land recently acquired behind the fire hall.

Electric City kicked off its community information efforts last year with a number of stakeholders taking part — Grant County Health District, WSU, Coulee Medical Center, Washington State Department of Transportation, Bureau of Reclamation and others.

Russell Powers, Electric City’s deputy clerk, said that the survey forms have been sent to Grant County Health District for tabulation.

The Health District has raised the healthy aspects of a trail system by affording safe walking and biking area through the city.

The Pathway project would include ideas for sidewalks, parking and informative signage.

Hotel/motel money would not be used for sidewalks other than the pathway; the city would pursue grants for any sidewalks. The city has had some discussions on applying for a Washington State Transportation Improvement Board grant for sidewalks.

The WSU team will be made up of professors Kathleen Ryan and Bob Krikac, plus a number of WSU students. They will use the results of the community survey as a basis for discussions.

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