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Maintaining streets and reinvigorating Riverfront in an affordable way

Marlene Feist, Utilities Communications Manager


Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 10:12 a.m.
Streets and Parks Infographic

The Challenge: Address two of Spokane citizens' highest priorities—ongoing street improvement needs and an updated Riverfront Park—in an affordable way that gets citizens greater value for their dollar.

The Proposed Solution: A refinancing plan of existing debt that frees up money for significant new work at the same rate that citizens pay today for streets and parks.

The Mayor and Council President announced this proposal in early May. They compare the streets and parks funding proposal to refinancing a house, which allows homeowners to reduce their monthly mortgage payments and free up dollars for other household priorities.

Currently, Spokane's citizens pay 91 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value toward the repayment of three street and park bonds. With strategic refinancing, the dollars generated could be used to provide:

  • $25 million annually for street funding. That level of spending, which includes matching funding, would maintain the level of street work completed annually on under the 2004 Street Bond. Projects would be prioritized across multiple needs, including pavement condition, bike and pedestrian improvements, utility infrastructure, stormwater management, and economic development.
  • $60 million for implementation of the new Riverfront Park Master Plan, which was developed with considerable public input. More information about the master plan and its components is found at riverfrontparkmasterplan.org.
  • Retirement of the current debt.

Accountability to our community would be provided by the Park Board and a citizen oversight group on transportation.

The next step is to get information to citizens about the proposal and have them weigh in. Citizens can provide feedback on the proposal by emailing streetsandparks@spokanecity.org or by posting comments to this blog or @spokanecity on Facebook or Twitter.

And meetings are planned for:

  • Thursday, May 15, City Council Chambers, lower level of City Hall, 808 W. Spokane Falls Blvd, 5:30 p.m. This meeting will be taped for replay on CityCable 5.
  • Tuesday, May 20, Jefferson Elementary School, 123 E. 37th Ave., 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 22, West Central Community Center, 1603 N. Belt, 5:30 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 27, Lidgerwood Elementary School, 5510 N. Lidgerwood St., 6:30 pm.
  • Wednesday, May 28, Southside Senior Center, 3151 E. 27th Ave., 5:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 29, Northeast Community Center, 4001 N. Cook St., 5:30 p.m.

Previous News Release and Blog about Street and Parks Funding Plan:

Tags

  • Investments
  • Parks Bond
  • Streets Bond

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