By Don Nelson
The Town of Winthrop will use a one-time $250,000 grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board to help complete several projects and plan for others that will improve vehicle, bike and pedestrian movement in the town.
The Complete Streets program is designed to help towns “retrofit” their existing transportation corridors to more effectively handle a variety of uses. The Town Council approved a contract with the Transportation Improvement Board at its Feb. 15 meeting.
The town was required to submit a work plan to qualify for the grant. The town’s proposal included:
• $45,000 to complete a plan integrating bicycle, pedestrian, vehicle and transit circulation through the town, as well as Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.
• $20,000 to complete a “downtown streetscape study” that would include traffic and ADA needs, as well as parking, signage and lighting.
• $75,000 to complete Phase 2 of the Susie Stephens Trail.
• $80,000 to complete a pedestrian underpass beneath the Highway 20 bridge over the Chewuch River.
• $7,500 to develop a bicycle parking area on Riverside Avenue.
• $22,500 to design a connection between the downtown boardwalks and the Susie Stephens Trail.
The first three projects are scheduled for completion in 2017; the others are scheduled for 2018.
The grant agreement requires the town to make periodic reports on its progress to the Transportation Improvement Board. The town is required to hold the grant funds in a separate account designated solely for expenses related to the described projects. The town may request revisions to the plan, subject to the board’s approval.
In other business at its Feb. 15 meeting, the council approved an amendment to its zoning code related to the definition of overnight rentals. Previously, the code did not specify a limit on overnight stays as part of its definition. The amendment provides that “overnight/transient rentals means the rental of an approved dwelling unit for periods of less than 30 continuous calendar days.”
Mayor Anne Acheson noted that the town is still seeking applicants for vacancies on the planning commission and the Westernization review board. Interested residents are encouraged to contact the town at 996-2320.