City of Brookings pursuing grants for many projects

By Jane Stebbins, The Curry Coastal Pilot

If the city of Brookings can secure the funding, there could be a lot of construction going on in the next three years.

According to City Manager Gary Milliman, city staff is pursuing grants to fund various improvements. Federal and state money, however, is limited andndash; and in fierce demand andndash; and would require matching funds from the city.

"The local matches could be provided with a combination of urban renewal funds, annual street funding from the state; street, parks, water and sewer funds; contributions from other agencies and 'in-kind' contributions," Milliman wrote in a memo to council.

The most expensive project is a second request for federal funds to build a regional and comprehensive bicycle system.

The $6.95 million project would include building a bike path from Carpenterville Road to the California border. Additionally, bike facilities would be built on various streets throughout town.

The city's portion of the cost would be $2.08 million.

The second-most expensive project would be the reconstruction of Railroad Street between Pacific Avenue and Oak Street. A multi-use path would also be built on the west side of the street as part of the $3.58 million project. The town's portion of these costs would total $1 million.

The third-most expensive project would be infrastructure improvements andndash; notably sewer and water services andndash; to the Brookings Airport, and the construction of a 1 million gallon water storage reservoir north of the airport.

The concept for that project was designed in 2011 and would resolve a number of water pressure and volume issues along Parkview Drive, Milliman said. It would also enable the city to take several pumping facilities out of service.

Although the federal government typically provides 50 percent of the funds for projects, the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has agreed to increase it to 60 percent, citing "extreme economic conditions" in Curry County.

The city is also preparing to request funding from a new EDA disaster preparedness grant that would provide 80 percent of the funds needed for the airport project.

Southwestern Oregon Community College, the county and Port of Brookings Harbor have all made financial contribution commitments toward this endeavor, as well.

Other improvements for which the city hopes to attain funds include paving the access road to the Mill/Macklyn Cove beaches, building a scenic overlook and walkway along Tanbark Road and a deck overlooking Chetco Cove.

Costs for this work are estimated to cost $125,000, of which the city is seeking $64,500 from the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation.

The city also hopes to secure $307,125 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds to build a retaining wall next to the wastewater treatment plant. The total cost of the project is expected to be $409,500.

The city also plans to begin the second phase of improvements to Easy Street, notably sidewalks on the west side between Pioneer Road and Fern Avenue. That project would cost $500,000, of which the city would pay $50,000.

Hillside Drive would see a pedestrian link between the three elderly- and disabled-facilities on Park Avenue and Highway 101. An estimated $150,000 is needed for this project, of which the city would contribute 10 percent.

The Curry Coastal Pilot
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Thursday October 27, 2016

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