Othello seeking $3 million in state funds for 14th Ave. roundabout

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Charles H. Featherstone/Sun Tribune - Othello City Clerk Tonia Morales, who said the city is seeking donations of winter hates, gloves, mittens and scarves as part of the fire district's drive to help needy families.

OTHELLO — Othello Mayor Shawn Logan said the city is going to ask the Washington State Legislature next week for $3 million to build a roundabout at the intersection of State Route 26 and 14th Avenue.

“It's critical to future development,” Logan said during a regular meeting of the Othello City Council on Monday.

Funding for a possible roundup came up as part of a general discussion of the city's capital facility plan for the next six years, which includes the proposed 2019 capital budget.

The city is proposing to spend $15.6 million on improvements in 2019 ranging from $112,000 for two new police cars, $1.7 million for a replacement to Well No. 3, $3.5 million for 3.5 million gallon reservoir, and $3.5 million to drill a new water well and connect it to the system.

The six-year capital plane originally proposed $2 million in 2020 for improvements to the SR26/14th Ave. intersection, but Logan said state engineers recommended a bigger roundabout to accommodate the volume of traffic and the size of the trucks using the route.

Many of the items in the capital plan are dependent upon state or federal grants or loans, which will cover much of the costs. However, if the legislature agrees to fund the proposed roundabout, Logan said the city will have to match 10 percent of the cost, or roughly $300,000.

“They haven't funded it yet,” he said.

The city council will likely pass Othello's proposed $22.6 million over all budget at its next meeting on Monday, Dec. 3. The proposed budget includes $6 million in the general fund ($2.9 million for law enforcement), $10.8 million for water ($8.5 million for well and other water projects, much of the funding from loans and grants), $2.3 million for sewer, and $1.3 million for solid waste.

Othello is also taking donations of winter hats, gloves, mittens and scarves as part of it annual drive to help Adams County Fire District No. 5 prepare Christmas baskets for needy families.

According to City Clerk Tania Morelos, the city is taking donations until Dec. 20, and will use those donations to decorate the city's Christmas tree.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com

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