City prepares road map for transportation projects
With the weather warming up, transportation projects in the
city of Liberty Lake – both current and upcoming – are a hot topic again.
City Engineer Scott Bernhard provided City Council with an
overview of Liberty Lake's six-year Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) on
June 4. The latest document covers projects from 2020 to 2025.
"A lot of the funding agencies won't give grants unless you
have a TIP in place," Bernhard said.
Those agencies include the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB)
and Spokane Regional Transportation Council (SRTC). Bernhard noted that all
jurisdictions in Washington must establish a TIP according to state law.
Roads, sidewalks, transit systems and bike trails must be
included in the TIP.
"It's a whole process," Bernhard said. "We need to have our
part completed by June 30."
The state will adopt its TIP by the end of the year.
Bernhard said the city's TIP is based on the capital facilities improvement
plan approved by council during the 2019 budget planning discussions with the
exception of Harvard Road and Henry Road funding as well as an additional
traffic signal that may be supported by a TIB grant.
A public hearing will be held on the TIP on June 18 at City
Council Member Cris Kaminskas asked Bernhard why the larger
dollar amounts for the widening of Harvard Road Bridge were slated for 2021 and
"I was under the impression that we were trying to do that
next year," Kaminskas said.
Bernhard said that the Washington Department of
Transportation (WSDOT) has indicated that even though design for the project
will be completed by the end of this year, it wouldn't be approved to go to bid
until May or June of next year.
"By the time they get it awarded, it probably won't give the
contractor enough time between July and October to get in completed (next
year)," Bernhard said.
Earlier in the meeting, Kevin Schneidmiller of Greenstone
Homes gave council an update on improvements to Harvard Road north of I-90. The
scope of the work includes a roundabout at Mission and Harvest Parkway that has
already been completed. Schneidmiller noted that work also had begun on
Indiana, from Harvest Parkway to the Bitterroot area.
The last section of Bitterroot Street to Harvard – including
the intersection of Harvard and Indiana – is in the design process. That
juncture will be addressed by a traffic signal not a roundabout.
"Our goal is to get it completed this fall," Schneidmiller
Greenstone and the city are also looking at the intersection
of Wellington and Harvard out of the Trutina neighborhood, adding that a
roundabout is likely the best option.
In other city news:
• Police Chief Asmus
said the agency is working on a prescription drug drop box and is involved in
discussions with the Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District in promoting the
idea. The box is for prescription drugs that are no longer being used
• LLPD is in the
process of collecting information and releasing bids for the purchase of
additional radar speed signs
• LLPD is offering
the Peacemaker Badge as part of the Play Unplugged program this summer
• Sakti Hiatt of LLPD
appeared as a guest speaker at the Attorney General's Office Local Government
Records University on national incident base reporting and police records
• The Spokane Valley
Fire Department (SVFD) was recently honored as EMS Agency of the Year. SVFD
Chief Bryan Asmus told council that the agency achieved a 74-percent survival
rate in cases of cardiac arrest. Collins said the department's focus on early
CPR training, defibilatiors and the Pulse Point program was key to the honor.
"It's a testament not necessarily of the Spokane Valley Fire Department but
that the community is taking these things seriously."
• Collins said SVFD
responded recently to a serious injury involving the rider of a one-wheel
hoverboard. The youth was not wearing a helmet and was hospitalized after
suffering a seizure. "It was really
unfortunate," Collins said. "The important message is to really wear a helmet.
It's hard to see these kinds of incidents when they're easily preventable."
• Julie Happy is the
new community affairs manager for SVFD after being employed for 12 years with
the city of Spokane
• Collins said SVFD
"will have a presence" at the Liberty Lake Farmers Market this season,
providing safety presentations
• Library Director
Jocelyn Redel said summer reading is important for kids noting that reading
comprehension decreases when books stay on the shelf during the warm-weather
break. This year's theme is "A Universe of Stories." The program begins on June
17 and concludes the end of August. Prizes will be awarded for those who read
for. There is also a summer reading program for adults entitled "Home and
Living Spaces – Green Living."
• The second annual
Friends of the Library Summer Soiree will be held July 24 at the Liberty Lake
• Redel recognized
the contributions of retiring Library Board of Trustees Member Lu Embry on June
4. Redel said Embry "helped guide the policies, mission, vision, values and
goals of the library with clarity and a lot of enthusiasm." Embry, who worked
for East Valley and Central Valley school districts and Gonzaga University,
thanked the city for their support of the library, calling it "the hub of our
community where we learn and revere our culture, past present and future."
• City Administrator
gave a recap of the Rotary Memorial Day Breakfast at Pavillion Park, noting the
coverage of the event by Spokane Public Radio. The program was attended by
around 600 people and included Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers and retired Air
Force Col. Brian Newberry while raising $4,500 for Honor Flight
• The city will soon
begin providing video coverage of City Council meetings
• There will be an
open house on June 13 at City Hall beginning at 5:30 p.m. for residents living
around the Trailhead Golf Course. The discussion will focus on the operation
and maintenance of the new irrigation system
• The Parks and Arts
Commission is working on a loan agreement for a piece of art titled "Requiem to
the Horses." The art would be displayed at City Hall for one year
• Finance Director RJ
Stevenson has been appointed to the Association of Washington Cities Employee
Benefit Advisory Commission
• The Liberty Lake
Kiwanis Yard Sales is set for June 21-22
• Council confirmed Mayor
Peterson's appointments of Paul Brown and Joe Mann to the Planning Commission
as adjunct members and the appointment of Kate Laven to the Parks and Arts