Featured Stories

Funding is closer for Ninth Street project

City to get additional $1 million for extension project
The City of Prineville is farther along on the Ninth Street extension project, with the news last week that Sen. Ron Wyden was able to provide a significant amount of money towards costs.
   "I was told that we were going to get an additional million dollars, so that would increase the funds that we are going to get for this project by $1.5 million," said Prineville City Manager Robb Corbett. "I'm actually surprised that it was out in the media before an official announcement by the senator's office."
   "The Appropriations Committee approved the funding and now it has to go to the full Senate," said Geoff Stuckart of Sen. Wyden's Portland office. He added that the Senate committee approved the funding on July 20. The bill is now ready to be considered by the Senate before being reconciled with a similar version in the U.S. House of Representatives.
   Wyden and fellow Oregon Sen. Gordon Smith (R) were co-sponsors last year in providing $500,000 to the city for the same project.
   The total construction project is estimated to be $3.71 million.
   "We're not sure where the rest of the funds would come from," Corbett noted. "And just to clarify, one of the amounts that has not been identified is property acquisition."
   "That (Wagner's Price Slasher) would be one of them, yes," Corbett said. "I think there are other properties or right of ways that might have to be acquired."
   In January, the Prineville City Council decided to have the route go through the current Wagner's Price Slasher store. Additionally, the council has directed staff to provide an economic and social impact analysis of going through the business. Residents were concerned about the impact of the arterial going through the business and on neighboring homes.
   "That will be provided to the council next month," Corbett said of the study.
   "I don't even know if there are restraints on the use of the money, but the money will be used for this project," he said. "And it will either be used for construction or property acquisition."
   The first phase of the project, from Main to Madras Highway, was finished several years ago. The second phase will be from Main to Seventh.
   "And then from Seventh to the East Y is from five to 10 years. That would be the third phase," the city manager said.
   Corbett was appreciative of Wyden's and Smith's efforts.
   "The community is very grateful for the effort on their part to fund this project," he said. "As we grow, transportation is going to be one of the most significant issues that we have to deal with."