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OKANOGAN – If funding comes through, street rebuilds are planned for Lower Pine Street and part of North Third Avenue within the next couple years.

The Okanogan City Council agreed Aug. 6 to apply for state Transportation Improvement Board funding to rebuild Lower Pine Street between Third and Fifth avenues, and North Third Avenue between Greta and Irene streets.

If the grants are awarded, construction would not happen until 2022, said City Clerk Craig Attwood.

Road surfacing, storm drains and sidewalks are planned.

“Construction of new sidewalk on Lower Pine Street will complete a gap between the central business district toward the area of the city where the middle/high school campus resides,” according to a memo to the council from Public Works Director Shawn Davisson.

The 0.1-mile, two-block project would cost an estimated $389,000, with TIB funds covering $347,400 of the cost and the city funds making up the rest.

For the South Third Avenue project, deteriorated roadway would be reconstructed and a safe pedestrian pathway created. Storm drainage, sidewalks, curbs and gutters would be added along the 0.3-mile stretch.

The estimated cost is $780,000, with TIB funding of $702,000 and city funds of $78,000.

During the 2018 flood, the road served as a bypass of Highway 215 (North Second Avenue). That led to increased truck traffic, “which caused further deterioration of the roadway surface,” said the application.

According to the application, the city wants to reconstruct North Third Avenue from Oak Street to Greta Street, but is approaching the project in phases since the estimated cost for the full length would be more than $2 million.

In other business, the council:

-Learned the 2020 budget process has begun.

-Learned changes in state law allow larger contracts to be awarded to companies on the city’s small works roster and to city workers. No formal bidding is required in either case.

-Learned the south end water project and Pine Street paving project are close to being finished.

-Had the first reading of a utility franchise agreement with Okanogan County. During the Pine Street project, officials discovered the county has a fiber optics line in the city right of way and may expand the line in the future.

Somehow a franchise agreement was overlooked when the line was installed some years ago, city officials said.

“Typical would be for an agreement before (the line) got in the ground,” said Mayor Jon Culp.

-Approved the 2019-20 aviation liability insurance contract for Okanogan Legion Airport. The cost is $2,178, an increase of $153 from the 2018-19 policy.

-Learned the Okanogan Chamber of Commerce plans a “grown-up movie” night Aug. 16 on Queen Street. The viewing area will open at 8 p.m., with the moving starting at 8:30 p.m.

Beer would be available for purchase and free popcorn would be offered, said chamber representative Janet Culp.

The movie is “Caddyshack.”

-Learned recycling is “in a slump,” said Councilman Wayne Turner, who is a member of the Okanogan County Solid Waste Advisory Committee. Landfill officials are “sitting on” cardboard and plastic, because of the weak market, he said.

Tipping fees – the amount paid to dump trash – are supporting recycling at this point.

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