The Spokesman-Review reports that Spokane Valley is guaranteed 20 percent of the CDBG funds, or $337,075. The bulk of that money was to go to a project recommended by Spokane Valley staff that would sidewalks along Blake Road.
It is apparently too late in the grant cycle for the Valley to apply that money to another of its’ projects, so the money will be redistributed to other projects within Spokane County.
So why did they relinquish the money? Apparently because other communities need it more. Spokane Valley Deputy Mayor Arne Woodard said smaller, but more essential projects, in towns like Rockford – which may need a new well – are more critical than a sidewalk in Spokane Valley. Woodard said smaller municipalities will turn into ghost towns if they don’t receive assistance with critical infrastructure projects.
Councilmen Dean Grafos in response accused Woodard of not representing the Valley’s interests and said he plans to ask the state attorney general to investigate Woodard’s conduct on the CDBG board.
Apparently the residents along Blake Road aren’t upset about losing the project though, many were opposed to the sidewalks because they say the area has bigger problems like speeding and unregulated intersections that won’t be solved by new sidewalks.