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City department receives government grant to expand services to surrounding communities, better amenities

POST PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - The Sandy Transit department has been proactively working to complete its former master plan from 2009, so much so that it has met its goals about 12 years early and needs to make a new plan. Over the past year, Sandy Transit has definitely grown. So much so that the department just received grant it applied for to complete a new master plan.

The last master plan was done in 2009 and was to forecast transit needs for the following 20 years, but through proactivity the department has been quickly ticking things off of its last to-do list.

"Due to the growth in Sandy, we've actually implemented nearly everything in the (old) plan," said Transit Director Andi Howell.

To fund this project, the department applied for a grant from the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program. The city of Sandy has promised to match 12 percent or $14,400 of the $120,000 cost, and the grant will cover the rest.

"I hope (this time) to focus on Transit amenities," Howell noted. She plans to look into creating more shelters for popular bus stops and other features.

The other goal will be to look at how the department can expand services and build "connectivity for the surrounding communities" like Estacada and Boring — a goal that has already been partially accomplished with the acquisition of the Mt. Hood Express line's operations.

"There is a concerted effort from the county with the highway administration to create a transportation system all the way around the mountain," she added. "With new development, it's the perfect time to bring in professional planners to look at the city as a whole."

Howell assured that throughout the process of researching to create this master plan, public input will be solicited and valued, adding that Sandy residents and transit customers will have numerous opportunities to make their concerns and comments heard.

CORRECTION

In an earlier version of this story, the amount of Sandy Transit's master plan to be covered by the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management grant was misrepresented. The city of Sandy will provide $14,400 of the total cost and the grant will cover the rest. The Post regrets the error.

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