CITY SHOULD PUT AWAY FUNDS FOR WALK REPAIRS

April 19, 2002 11:00 pm

The City of La Grande is making another effort this spring to push for the reconstruction of the many broken sidewalks in town.

The city has been spurred on by the success it had last year in its sidewalk repair program. It's good to see the city continue these efforts, but eventually a program should be developed to draw many hundred residents into getting their sidewalks repaired.

The 2001 project saw repairs to sidewalks on 32 properties in La Grande, only a fraction of the number of walkways actually needing work. The city gave property owners the option of paying for their new sidewalks through a local improvement district, providing for time payments. Of the 32 participants, only eight opted for LID financing and three of them already have paid the full amount.

The 17,000 square feet of sidewalk improvements, at a cost $85,000, has prompted the city to form another citywide LID. Anyone interested in having their sidewalk evaluated for possible participation should call public works at 962-1325.

Last year's work only scratched the surface of all the sidewalk needs. The council should salt away some funds over the next five years or so to come up with a major citywide sidewalk program.

Many residents could be lured into having their cracked and broken sidewalks repaired if the city was willing to pay a healthy percentage of the bill.

2 DEADLINES POSSIBLE

Notice the white stuff that was spitting from the heavens this week?

Snow fell in Northeast Oregon, in spite of the fact that it was the middle of April and spring was nearly a month old. The snow did not stick much in La Grande. But Enterprise and Joseph residents awakened to a white world on more than one morning.

Snow in April does not come as a surprise to residents who have lived in the region for more than a couple years. Other than hearing some brief comments about it on a Portland television news broadcast, west-side legislators do not understand much about weather conditions in Eastern Oregon.

The March 31 deadline for removing studded tires from motor vehicles makes a lot of sense for drivers west of the Cascades. It makes less sense on the cold side. An April 30 deadline would be more appropriate for an area where winter tends to linger.

Two deadlines for removing studded tires in Oregon is possible. The motor vehicles department could issue an April 30 deadline window sticker for cars registered east of Hood River. That way, when motorists from our area venture into the Willamette Valley in April, they won't face a fine if a state trooper hears the clickety-clack of studs striking the pavement.