Puyallup Herald

Puyallup’s ‘wish list’ for lawmakers prioritizes streets, safe routes to school

The cities of Puyallup and Sumner shared their funding priorities in their 2019 legislative agendas. In this photo taken April 26, 2017, the Washington State Capitol, also known as the Legislative Building, is seen in Olympia.
The cities of Puyallup and Sumner shared their funding priorities in their 2019 legislative agendas. In this photo taken April 26, 2017, the Washington State Capitol, also known as the Legislative Building, is seen in Olympia. AP file photo

State lawmakers assembled for the 2019 Legislative Session on Monday, and the city of Puyallup has prepared a “wish list” for them.

City staff identified five priority projects and requested a total of $1.2 million in funding from the Legislature this year. Not all funding requests are guaranteed.

Those projects include:

  • $500,000 for Phase 4A of WSU frontage improvement project, which adds porous pavement, curbs, gutters and sidewalks to approximately 700 feet of West Pioneer. The city has already secured $1.4 million in grant funding for the project and needs another $1.7 million to see the project completed.

  • $500,000 for new sidewalks between 26th Avenue Southeast and 31st Avenue Southeast leading to Ferrucci Junior High. The project is part of a citywide Safe Routes to School program.

  • $500,000 for upgrades to culverts on Meeker Creek at 7th Street Southwest or 11th Street Southwest. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a ruling that Washington state must “continue restoring salmon habitat by removing barriers like aging road culverts that block fish migration.”

  • $500,000 for a study to upgrade culverts on Shaw Road from 12th Avenue Southeast to 23rd Avenue Southeast.

  • $200,000 for a corridor study from West Pioneer to 112th Street near Fruitland Elementary School as part of the city’s Safe Routes to School program.

Council members also have voiced interest in the Legislature addressing condo liability reform this session, saying that some investors are concerned about building downtown due to substantial liability.

“I believe the preference of the Council is that we in fact encourage condominiums, long-term investment in the community, as opposed to apartments,” Councilman Jim Kastama said.

Council members also expressed concern about the future of regional psychiatric facility Western State Hospital and a resulting plan that could open mental health facilities within the community.

City Manager Kevin Yamamoto asked Council to keep an open mind on having a possible facility co-located on the Good Samaritan Hospital campus.

“It’d be neat if a hospital up on the hill, in a hospital campus, can serve a broader base, especially if there’s some state money coming to support that,” Yamamoto said. “I have similar reactions to a lot of you, but, on the other hand, potentially it could be a benefit to the community.”

Sumner addresses ‘traffic messes’

The top priority on Sumner’s 2019 legislative agenda is “traffic messes” on state Route 410.

The city hopes to secure $500,000 to design an new interchange at 166th Avenue East and SR 410.

“Vehicles throughout the region use this route (to) access Lakeland Hills, Bonney Lake, Tehaleh, Orting, South Prairie, Buckley as well as Sumner… Yet, this interchange’s poor design makes it a fatality waiting to happen,” the city stated on its website.

The agenda also supports:

  • Reinstating streamlined sales tax mitigation funding

  • Funding for Wildlife & Recreation Program that includes $500,000 to build a covered sport court at Sumner’s Rainier View Park

  • Allocating $500,000 to convert the lights at Bill Heath Sports Complex to LEDs

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