Dallas Street could be focus of rehab project

Camas applies for CDBG funding

Camas officials are hoping the city receives grant money to help fund a $675,000 project that would rehabilitate one of the city’s dilapidated streets.

The proposed project would focus on a section of Northeast Dallas Street, between Northeast 17th and 21st avenues. The work would involve completing upgrades to existing water and sewer utilities and drainage; construction of sidewalk improvements and an ADA compliant ramp; and road surface reconstruction.

“This part of the roadway on Dallas has ‘failed,’ which means that it doesn’t receive any of the [city’s] funding for pavement management,” said Engineering Manager James Carothers. “We also have substandard water and sewer on this street. The intent would be to improve the water and sewer.”

To make the upgrades possible, Camas has applied for $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding. The remaining cost for the project would be paid by the city.

Camas resident Ron Durkee, is the owner of a duplex on Dallas Street. He said the road is in terrible condition, and the area has poor drainage.

“I think if you took a softball, you would have a hard time finding any piece of the asphalt on that street that was larger,” he testified during a public hearing on Nov. 21. “It is broken up into multi-pieces. The only part that might be whole is where they patched the street because the water main is much too small, and it has ruptured many, many times. They have to continually rebuild that.”

Dena Hooser, a Northeast 19th Avenue resident, also supports the proposed improvements.

“We have similar concerns about the surface of the road,” she said. “It is really in shambles. Stuff is growing in through it, and it’s not a safe place for the kids to play. We would love to see those sidewalks.”

A program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, CDBG funds local community development activities such as affordable housing, anti-poverty programs and infrastructure development in low-income areas.

Since 1985, Camas has secured 35 separate CDBG grants totalling $6 million.

“As the city changes, I think it’s not as easy to get [CDBG funding] for some of these projects, and yet we have some areas that still qualify well,” said Camas Mayor Scott Higgins. “It’s good that we can continue to capitalize on this.”

The application deadline for the 2017 funding cycle was Dec. 1. The Urban County Policy Board, made up one Clark County councilor and the mayors from all cities and towns in the county except Vancouver, reviews the applications in January. Applicants present their program requests to the board in February, and final recommendations for funding are made in March.

In 2015, the city received a CDBG grant that benefitted Northeast Franklin Street, between Northeast 15th and Northeast 19th avenues. This area received upgrades to the existing water and sewer utilities, improvements to make ramps compliant with the ADA standards and reconstruction of the existing road surface.

The grant funded $225,000 of the $469,000 project, which was completed earlier this year.