Leaders consider 20-year street levy to fix Spokane streets




Posted on May 13, 2014 at 5:52 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 14 at 10:43 AM

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SPOKANE, Wash.—Taxpayers could spend 20 years paying-off a new plan to improve Spokane streets after a ten-year street levy expires in May.

The levy paid to improve several roads around Spokane, but leaders wanted to ask taxpayers to continue paying for construction projects that still needed to be done.

City officials said a new plan would help improve throads that still needed work.

Thurston Avenue was known as one of the worst paved roads in Spokane. If drivers kept going west, they would see the difference crews could make by improving the road.

"It's rough, the road is pretty chopped up again,” said resident Ron LaPlante.

Drivers traveling along Indiana and Mission near Hamilton said they experienced some of the same problems. They said it was another spot with failing roads.

"The street is loud, cars go by, they bounce,” said LaPlante.

LaPlante lived along Indiana for more than 40-years and said the roads needed work.

“I think they should give it a failing grade,” said LaPlante.

A city map rated the condition of the roads. Blue lines on the map meant a road was in very good condition. Red lines meant the road was failing.

Spokane voters approved a street levy that paid to turn some of the lines blue in 2004.

City officials were considering in May whether to ask voters to keep paying for improvements for another 20 years. The City would spend $25 million more a year to make the improvements.

"Streets are an ongoing need so what we see is we need to maintain the streets that we've rebuilt and we still have streets in our system that need work," said Marlene Feist with the City of Spokane.

Those people living along some of the worst spots said it was worth it if the improvements made a permanent change.

The City of Spokane was set to have two public forums for the public to tell City leaders what they think should be fixed. The first meeting was set for Tuesday night and the second meeting was set for Thursday. After the meetings, the City Council would decide whether to put the levy on the ballot in 2014.