Lewiston’s list of projects totals more than $20 million

New library, traffic lights among proposals

By Sandra L. Lee of the Tribune

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The city of Lewiston’s federal stimulus wish list is more than $20 million long.

It includes everything from $6 million for a new library down to $25,000 for energy-saving traffic signal lights.

Some appear to be included in the money the Idaho Transportation Board said Tuesday is likely to come to Lewiston, City Manager John C. (Jay) Krauss said. With federal stimulus money coming from many different sources, Krauss said he would be surprised if there wasn’t duplication and if local governments weren’t challenged on whether they were submitting applications to the right agencies.

The goal is to not increase the city’s operations costs because of stimulus projects, he said.

All the projects are supposed to be ready to go within 120 days, and some entities may find they aren’t able to do that, Krauss said.

“The other big unknown with this, if funding is allocated, is who gives you the money and when, and if you have to front it.” Lewiston is fairly well positioned to pay for projects and get reimbursed, but many local governments would be going to the same credit markets ill-prepared to fund other ventures, he said.

“We obviously don’t expect to get funded for everything,” Krauss said, but if the city could get even three to five of the major projects done with stimulus money, “it would make a difference in the community.”

At the top of his priority list is the $860,000 the Transportation Board indicated could come for seal-coating and preventive maintenance. He would like to target that for repaving Main and D streets. The city budget has $650,000 set aside for that work, but that would be using city workers. Ideally, that might be contracted out, some of the city’s money be used to expand the project and some would still be leftover for other street work.

The $547,000 the state board designated for transit and support vehicles includes $150,000 for two buses, $80,000 for 10 bus shelters and $317,000 for other unspecified transit needs, which might include a secure parking area, Krauss said.

The 19 projects the city applied for separately from the Transportation Board and listed by cost, not priority, are:

– $6 million for a 30,000 square foot “green” library with a teen center, technology center, children’s area, and meeting spaces. It likely would be design-build contract to meet the tight time frame, Krauss said.

– $4.875 million for street, utility and storm water improvements in the 310 acres north of Warner Avenue owned jointly by the city, Lewiston School District and Lewis-Clark State College.

– $2 million for 5,000 water meters read remotely using radio signals.

– $1 million for storm water lines.

– $1 million to build the infrastructure to support development of about 30 hangars on the eastern end of the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport.

– $839,869 for road construction and $422,609 for utilities to open 27 acres east of Juniper Drive for a Port of Lewiston business and technology park.

– $800,000 for sidewalks.

– $786,000 for Snake River corridor enhancements, including a pedestrian underpass near Country Club Drive.

– $733,000 for improvements near the Interstate Bridge entrance to the city that are scheduled for construction next year using $633,650 of state and federal funding, $233,000 of city cash and in-kind match, and $22,500 from Avista.

– $510,000 for residential rehabilitation through low-interest loans and grants.

– $500,000 for installation of video detection at about 17 signalized intersections.

– $400,000 for the inspection and videotaping of all sewer lines on the city sewer system.

– $300,000 to install fire hydrants and related water main improvements.

– $220,000 for a handicapped-accessible bookmobile.

– $150,000 for two public transit buses and $80,000 for 10 bus-stop shelters.

– $71,950 for down payment and closing cost assistance to about seven low and moderate income families.

– $25,000 to replace standard traffic signal lights with LED lights.

Lee may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 848-2266.