|2/21/2013 11:27:00 AM|
School Board agrees to contribute property to the city for Safe Paths to School project
The Cascade School Board has decided to provide a small piece of school district property to the city of Leavenworth as part of the Safe Routes to School project.
On Nov. 27, Leavenworth City Administrator Joel Walinski briefed the school board on the scope of the project. It is part of a $338,000 federal Safe Routes to School grant the city received some years ago.
It involves placing sidewalks on West Street, and improvements to the intersections at Benton and West Streets and Ski Hill Drive. It also focuses on the intersections of Evans and Orchard, and two intersections on Central.
An intersection near Osborn Elementary School needs to be fixed, but the problem is the district owns a portion of the sidewalk and road. Walinski asked the school board to dedicate a small piece of property to the project itself.
At the Feb. 11 Cascade School Board meeting, Cascade Superintendent Steve McKenna said he discovered something as he researched this piece of property, which is at the intersection of Evans, Orchard and Benton Streets.
"There is this little piece of property the city is asking us to deed to them to make that intersection. But what I found...our property goes all the way down the sidewalk to Central," McKenna said. "I'm not a big fan of owning a public sidewalk. If you don't turn that over to the city, and you own out into the street and sidewalk, guess who is liable for that sidewalk?"
McKenna believes it needs to be conveyed to the public. But, in terms of the project, the city is only asking for this small piece of property, in some manner or another. The question for the district is how to convey that property to another governmental agency.
The Safe Paths to School grant was written in cooperation with the city, McKenna said, to provide children better paths to school. Part of the commitment for the school district was some type of in-kind contribution. This could be in the form of a bike rodeo, bike safety event or bike helmet giveaway, something totaling around $4,000.
"What I did since this initial presentation is to work with our attorney and not view this as an donation of school district property, but as an in-kind contribution to our part of the grant," McKenna said. "Our kids are benefitting from the project, so we're contributing part of our land to upgrade our intersection. It would be considered our part of the in-kind contribution."
The small piece of property, which is blacktop, is valued at $6,000. The city has agreed to pay the school district $2,000 for the legal costs of conveying the property to the city. The balance of $4,000 would be considered an in-kind contribution to the project.
The school board voted unanimously to convey the property to the city as an in-kind donation.
Ian Dunn can be reached at 548-5286 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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