Not only has the City reserved $600,000 for 2009 and $500,000 from the library annexation fund but they have also collected $400,000 from development projects in the downtown area to help fund improved sidewalks and walkways.
Although the city applied for a $1 million Safer Routes to School grant, their grant ranked 27 out of 144 projects, only 26 projects were funded through this grant program.
However, the state is proposing putting the request into the federal government, who may be offering over $24 million in stimulus money to cities for non-motorized transportation improvements, which includes sidewalks and walkways.
Cities who receive the stimulus money must be “shovel ready” within 90 days of receiving the money from the federal government.
“We now have a sidewalk/walkway inventory and priority listing so we can begin working on specific projects,” City Administrator Jan Berg said. “Even if we don’t get the stimulus money, $400,000 is required to be spent in the downtown area where the development occurred so the Safer Routes to School program, which will include sidewalks around North Lake Middle School and Mount Pilchuck Elementary, is a perfect project to use these funds.”
The city will be able to assign money to sidewalk projects when federal government has reached their decisions regarding the stimulus package.
“Sidewalks are really important to a growing city and safe sidewalks for children are especially important,” Mayor Vern Little said. “That is how we assign where sidewalks will be.”