City, county leaders join in road project

A few high-profile projects in Sequim could shape its look and way of life for years to come.

The city's "to-do" list includes partnering with Clallam County crews on roads and hiring contractors for the city's downtown plan.

Here is a summary of recent activity regarding those

two projects:

An interlocal agreement

Clallam County and the city of Sequim officials are working on two road projects through an interlocal agreement.

County road crews are widening Priest Road. When they've finished, they'll lay hot mix asphalt on River Road from the roundabout south to the beginning of the U.S.

Highway 101 overpass.

Sequim Public Works Director Paul Haines said River Road has structural deficiencies and that it needs asphalt.

Crews also will begin work on a road extension from Grant Road to Washington Street.

County Roads Engineer Ross Tyler said the county's

workshop is on Grant Road and vehicles have a hard time turning onto River Road.

The extension runs to Washington Street, providing quicker and safer access to River Road through the roundabout.

Both projects should be finished by the end of the year.

Sequim and Clallam County are considering other joint projects such as more road work and land-use planning.

The city rents a mower from the county, saving about $40,000 by not buying one, and city officials are considering making city road signs at the county's shop.

Downtown plan progresses

City councilors on Aug. 23 chose LMN Architects of Seattle to help develop the city's downtown plan, one of their goals for 2010-2011.

LMN was one of 14 firms to apply. It will receive no more than $85,000, with $40,000 budgeted for this year and $45,000 for next year for planning.

Mark Hinshaw, a representative for LMN, said Sequim is a town that's not hurting.

"Other towns have problems like high vacancies rates, but you have signs left and right," Hinshaw said.

"You've got great merchants. Most facilities in the state don't have new construction. You've got great bones here."

City staff expect a downtown plan to be made every 10-15 years and future monies would come out of reserves rather than the general contingency fund.

The project's boundaries will be determined by LMN after they conduct research with city staff, council members and residents.

A community workshop tentatively is set for late-October, with more meetings to follow.

The plan is contracted for completion in March 2011.

City consultant Dennis Osborn was hired two months ago to lead this and work on other city goals, but he is leaving to become associate director for the Northwest Regional Foundation of the United Methodist Church.

Joe Irvin, associate planner, will take the lead on the downtown plan for the city.

Coming next week

Read about the annexation of Battelle Marine Science Laboratory into the Sequim city limits, and an overview about the city's water reuse facilities in next week's edition of the Sequim Gazette.

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