Forest Grove city councilors have approved two resolutions that would allow Washington County to transfer jurisdiction of roads in a recently annexed area of the city.

City officials want to improve some of the streets in northeast Forest Grove, where extensive residential development has occurred. But to do so, the city needs control of the roads.

That will help address some of the concerns of homeowners who had complained that the city took control of their property but not the roads, which were poorly maintained by the county.

Forest Grove officials have spent months discussing the issue with their county counterparts, who have offered $262,888 to help resurface the roads currently in their control, in order to bring them up to city standards.

The roads to be improved are Willamina Avenue, 26th Avenue, Hawthorne Street and two local access roads—Firwood Lane and Raymond Street—which are already in city control.

The county money, along with $70,000 in special-assessment money from the city’s “North Central Improvement Fee” adds up to $333,000, which should cover the work.

With Forest Grove officials having approved the resolutions, Washington County commissioners could take about two months to respond, which would still allow the city to include the roads in next year’s summer-overlay program, said Public Works Director Rob Foster.

City Manager Michael Sykes, however, pointed out that many of the roads don’t have sewers beneath them and the city should put in sewers at the same time if possible.

Councilor Elena Uhing expressed concern for financially strapped property owners who might not be able to afford the sewer costs.

Sykes said the city will look into using federal Community Development Block Grant money to help make such projects affordable. Foster said there might be other funding alternatives as well.

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