By KEN PARK
On Aug. 15, Bingen City Councilors reviewed a pair of street project proposals that could qualify for the state Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) grant funding.
The council looked at two proposals for improving Humboldt Street, one of Bingen’s principal east-west routes. Consulting engi-neers Gray & Osborne, Inc., prepared the projects for the council’s consideration (see photo above).
The council opted to put off a decision on which project to submit for TIB funding until development plan for the former Bingen School Inn are revealed by the new owners.
One proposal included improvements to Cedar Street, a north-south street near the former Bingen School Inn that crosses Humboldt and connects directly to State Route 14; one did not.
Gray & Osborne suggested the council put forward the proposal that did not include Cedar Street, as it would be more likely to get approved by the TIB.
The total project cost without Cedar Street is $569,200. The City Council is seeking $540,740 in grant funding, and will match that with $28,460 in city street funds.
With Cedar Street, the total cost would be $608,590, and the council would be asking for a $578,075 grant, with a $30,425 local match. The price difference alone, about $39,000, would put the council at better odds of getting the grant if it went for the improvements without Cedar Street, according to Gray & Osborne.
The proposed scope of work calls for improving sidewalks and street resurfacing to make them safer and accessible, and installing stormwater drain systems to better manage runoff.
In addition to considering the cost difference between the projects, the council also decided to wait until it could see the plans for the Bingen School Inn to see if sidewalks and road improvements would be included in its plans. If there are not expected or intended sidewalk or road improvements in the Bingen School Inn plans, the council will put forward a grant proposal for improvements to Cedar Street next year.
“If we tried to include Cedar now without knowing the Inn’s plans, we might have to wait ‘another round’ to get the grant approved,” said Jan Brending.
In other business:
Soon-to-be new chief of the Bingen-White Salmon Police Department Mike Hepner attended the meeting provided the Bingen City Council an update on the approval of the Lexipol software system to aid law enforcement.Hepner also gave updates on recent crimes committed in Bingen by Bingen residents. The council made a request for reinforcement of parking laws in the city limits.
Tammy Kaufman, Insitu’s community outreach coordinator, invited representatives of the council to an upcoming event at Insitu.
A representative of One Community Health came to promote happiness month, which begins in October. The organizers of the promotion are looking to local business partners and governments to take part in special events throughout the month.