Tonight first chance to chip in on plan

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WALLA WALLA -- Better roads, construction moratoriums, public health, environmental standards and higher utility rates are just a few of the issues surrounding the city's proposed Infrastructure Sustainability Plan.

Shortly after being hired last fall, new City Manager Nabiel Shawa promised to hold a series of public forums dealing with the plan.

The goal is to replace all of the city's underground water and sewer lines on a 93-year schedule, as well as repave roads in the process.

The proposed plan would also set up an effective chip-seal maintenance program, set moratoriums on asphalt patch cuts that would damage the integrity of newly paved streets, ban all narrow patch cuts of asphalt and meet ADA standards for related items such as curb access.

The cost is roughly a graduated 50 percent increase to water and sewer rates by 2015.

If the plan is approved as is by the City Council, work could begin this year on 1.5 miles of streets and underground lines along sections of Bryant Avenue and Bonsella, Palouse and Melrose streets.

If not approved, the city's underground lines will continue to lose a billion gallons of potable water per year and leak millions of gallons of wastewater into the ground daily, officials say. And the No. 1 complaint of citizens, poor roads, will most likely continue without an adequate funding source to solve the problem.

Tonight's first meeting is at 5:30 p.m. at The Center At The Park, 720 Sprague Ave.

Future meetings will be March 4, 6 p.m., Housing Authority Gymnasium, 501 Cayuse St.; March 18, 7 p.m., Walla Walla Community College Conference Center, Room 185; and April 1, 6:30 p.m., Whitman College Reid Campus Center Ballroom, 280 Boyer Ave.Tonight, the City of Walla Walla will host the first of four public meetings for the proposed Infrastructure Sustainability Plan, held at The Center At The Park, 720 Sprague Street, Jefferson Park, 5:30 p.m. To help our readers know the issues surrounding this plan, the Union-Bulletin has run a series of short articles this week dealing with different aspects of it.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tonight, the City of Walla Walla will host the first of four public meetings for the proposed Infrastructure Sustainability Plan, held at The Center At The Park, 720 Sprague Ave., Jefferson Park, 5:30 p.m. To help our readers know the issues surrounding this plan, the Union-Bulletin has run a series of short articles this week dealing with different aspects of it.

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