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County tables Midvale Road funding agreement

YAKIMA - Citing a lack of information from his own staff, Public Works Director Vern Redifer asked Yakima County commissioners to table the Midvale Road supplemental agreement.

Commissioners were scheduled to consider an agreement Tuesday executing a supplemental agreement increasing the amount the county will pay for its portion of improving Midvale Road.

A joint project between the county and the Port of Sunnyside, the road improvements included adding a third lane, curb, gutter, sidewalk, lighting, water and sewer to a mile-and-a-half stretch of Midvale.

The project, completed this past summer, cost a total of $4.5 million. Grant funds in the amount of $3.2 million paid most of the costs for Midvale. Sunnyside Port Manager Amber Hansen said the port contributed $80,000 worth of land and $125,000. The port also borrowed $275,000 from a county economic development fund.

The agreement tabled by commissioners on Tuesday would have increased the county's share, payable to the port, to $450,000.

"There's no problem with the port," Redifer said. "My staff just didn't put enough information together for the commissioners."

Redifer said he will direct his staff to provide a better breakdown on how the county's funds will be spent on the Midvale project.

"When you undertake a cooperative project the original agreements are based on estimated costs," Redifer said of the need for a supplemental agreement.

"At the end of the project you know exactly how much it will cost," he added. "There are often extra costs, such as the need for additional excavation."

Redifer expects the Midvale Road funds will be back on the agenda for the commissioners' meeting next Tuesday.

"Everything's fine and in order, I just want to make sure the commissioners have the background information they need," Redifer said.

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