Road project sails to win in College Place

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— The rubber hit the road Tuesday for proposal to rebuild the city’s two main thoroughfares.

A $7 million bond issue for the College Avenue-Rose Street reconstruction project appears headed for passage with a vote of 71 percent for versus 29 percent against.

According to the Walla Walla County Auditor’s Office, a total of 993 ballots had been counted as of Tuesday night with 702 voting to approve and 291 voting to reject.

The bond measure will provide almost 70 percent of the funds needed to rebuild Rose Street from Myra Road to its intersection with College Avenue, and reconstruct College Avenue from its intersection with Rose south to its intersection with Lamperti Street-Mojonnier Road.

The annual tax payment of the bond will be about $94.26 per year per $100,000 of assessed value. The measure will be phased to replace two bonds being retired in 2013 and 2014 so landowners will see only an increase in property tax of about $34.05 per year per $100,000 assessed value.

The two bonds being retired are for the city’s fire station and for the South End bond, which paid for improvements to Meadowbrook Boulevard and Lamperti Street.

Along with rebuilding the two roadways, city officials say the overarching plan is to remake the downtown area that will evolve into a vibrant mix of commercial and residential uses.

In addition to the bond issue, additional financing will be provided by a mix of local, state and federal grants. Total cost for the entire project is about $10.4 million, officials have said.

Andy Porter can be reached at andyporter@wwub.com or 526-8318.

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