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Mabton misses out on park and ride funding

MABTON - The Mabton City Council learned last night, Tuesday, that the city's grant proposal for a park and ride was turned down.

Mabton submitted a $51,000 grant application in September in a bid for stimulus money provided by the Obama administration.

The city had already invested $43,000 in planning and design work towards a park and ride Mabton hopes to establish on property adjacent to SR 22.

The hope was that federal funding would pay to develop the park and ride with up to 36 parking spaces for carpools and vanpools.

One estimate is that up to 9,000 fewer commute trips would take place in the park and ride's first year, a savings of about 131,000 miles.

Mayor Velva Herrera told council yesterday that she contacted the state's commerce department, which is responsible for doling out the grant money, to find out why Mabton wasn't selected.

According to an e-mail reply from Meg O'Leary of the commerce office, the city's application met all the criteria needed for approval.

The problem, O'Leary continued, is that a total of 83 applications were submitted with a combined valuation of $11.9 million. However there was only $6.4 million available in grant money.

Mabton was one of 40 applicants turned down due to lack of funding.

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