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City presses ahead with controversial plan


Electric City has adopted its Revitalization and Pathways plan by a 5-0 council vote and is already moving ahead to accomplish one of its goals — sidewalks and curbing along SR-155 as it goes through the city’s business district.

The city has applied to the state Department of Transportation’s “Transportation Improvement Board” for a Small City Sidewalk Program funding grant of $855,000. The grant request, if approved, would pay 95 percent of the total cost of the sidewalk project, including engineering.

The sidewalk component of the Revitalization and Pathways project, along with parks and a trail system, are the primary features of the plan.

The council adopted the plan, which was developed by a Washington State University team of instructors and students, at its Sept. 13 meeting after a motion by Councilmember Birdie Hensley and a second by Councilmember Aaron Derr.

The plan that has been under study since spring was recommended to the council by a community-based committee. The committee had dropped the part of the plan that called for an eventual soccer field near the end of Grand Avenue, but the council put it back in.

The part of the plan that has drawn the most fire is the location of a trail system that winds its way through a residential area on Lakeview Drive.

City officials have stated that, while the plan has been approved by the council, it is in just a general sense. Specifics will come later, City Clerk Jackie Perman stated.

The council has assured those pressing against the trail that its actual location has not been established.

If the grant application is approved, it will mean the city can jump start its long range plan of revitalization.

Perman said that if the grant application is finally approved, the sidewalk project would probably not be completed before the fall of 2018.

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