City applies for ODOT grants to improve vehicle, pedestrian pathways


The Cottage Grove City Council voted Monday to authorize the city’s application for two Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Transportation and Growth Management grants to improve vehicular and pedestrian pathways in town.

The council had previously identified a high-priority need for improvement of the city’s pedestrian and bicycle system, particularly those relating to the Safe Routes to School project.

A grant request of $150,000 was approved to fund the development of a bicycle and pedestrian plan, which will include a Safe Routes to School action plan and a comprehensive ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) transition plan for public rights-of-way and facilities.

A 12 percent local match of $18,000 will be provided through engineering and planning staff support.

A second ODOT Transportation and Growth Management Grant request for $200,000 was also authorized to fund the development of a Highway 99 Corridor Plan through the city.

The plan will study ways to improve the function, access, accessibility, multi-modal use and attractiveness of Highway 99 from Main Street to South Fourth Street.

The project is also intended to spur new mixed-use development in the center of the city.

A 12 percent local match of $24,000 will be provided through engineering and planning staff sup-port.

“I feel that Highway 99 and Fourth Street needs a makeover real bad,” said Councilor Kenneth Roberts. “I think it will improve a lot of things for our community.”

In other City Council news:

LOC Legislative

Objectives

Councilors submitted their votes for the most pressing issues facing Cottage Grove in a League of Oregon Cities (LOC) request for member city information. 

The LOC is seeking input from member cities about the many legislative objectives that have been created by the league’s policy committees.

To help prioritize these objectives for the upcoming 2021 Oregon legislative session, the LOC asked each member city to provide input on what they consider the top four priorities.

Cottage Grove city councilors reviewed the LOC’s list of 26 issues and voted for their own top four during Monday’s session.

After tallying votes, the four issues of mental health service delivery, infrastructure financing and resilience, long-term transportation infrastructure funding and state highway funds formula emerged as the councilors’ priorities.

“The big thing for me is housing,” said Councilor Mike Fleck, who voted for the issue of housing and services investment. “I think it’s a big issue towards homelessness, which is another great issue that we have – and funds are usually short and far between, but I think we’re okay to go along this route.”

Other topics councilors voted for included broadband infrastructure, COVID-19 economic recovery investments, property tax reform and water utility rate and fund assistance.

The submission of the information is intended to give the league guidance for the next legislative session, but the organization will use opportunities to push other issues forward if they present themselves, explained Councilor Jake Boone, who is also President of the LOC.

“It’s not that the other things will be dropped, ignored or opposed,” he said. 

South River Road Dog Park

Councilors reviewed a preliminary design for a dog park in the city.

In 2018, the city purchased a 1.3-acre parcel from Lane County for a future dog park and Dougherty Landscape Architects was hired to draft the preliminary design for the property.

The parcel sits between South River Road and Highway 99 across from Cottage Grove High School. The preliminary concept for the dog park would include shelters, walking paths, play elements and accommodate spaces for differently-sized dogs.

The proposed design also incorporated neighbors’ concerns, which included the location of parking and privacy screening for adjacent homes.

“I think it looks good and it’s exciting,” said Mayor Jeff Gowing.

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