8 Tacoma neighborhoods could receive $218K in capital improvement grants

Three-dozen projects throughout Tacoma are poised to receive nearly $220,000 in innovative grant funding as a result of recommendations made...

Three-dozen projects throughout Tacoma are poised to receive nearly $220,000 in innovative grant funding as a result of recommendations made by the city’s eight neighborhood councils.

If the recommendations are approved by Tacoma City Council next week, the Central Neighborhood Council would receive $39,000 for five projects; the Eastside Neighborhood Council would receive $25,000 for four projects; the New Tacoma Neighborhood Council would receive $19,915 for four projects; the North End Neighborhood Council would receive $20,473 for four projects; the Northeast Tacoma Neighborhood Council would receive $24,500 for four projects; the South End Neighborhood Council would receive $32,827.45 for five projects; the South Tacoma Neighborhood Council would receive $26,174 for four projects; and the West End Neighborhood Council would receive $31,000 for six projects.

Gas Station Park in Tacoma’s South End is poised to receive $21,486 to completely overhaul the park. The 14,000 square foot park opened to much fanfare four years ago after the city and the neighborhood council partnered to buy the land (formerly the site of Franco’s Oil gas station) from Pierce County, then raised money to turn the property into a neighborhood park. Last year, however, Metro Parks Tacoma and the city’s public works department completed a condition assessment report that showed a long list of safety issues. The innovative grant funding would be used to underlay the park with wood shavings, install a new border and ADA ramp, and purchase and install new playground equipment.

Other notable projects that could receive grant funding include $3,415 for improvements to 8th and I Park that include new bushes, a mural, message center and bike rack; $7,500 for “Flourish MLK,” a plan that would paint miniature murals on planters along Martin Luther King Jr Way between South Sixth Street and South 19th Street; $2,600 for a sidewalk wayfinding “Compass Rose” near the Washington State History Museum plaza downtown that will direct visitors to cultural attractions; and $4,500 for improvements to the Northern Loop Trail access at Julia’s Gulch.

A total of $218,889.45 has been recommended for the 36 projects.

The innovative grant program uses community development bock grant funding and real estate excise tax revenue to fund small capital projects in neighborhoods in order to benefit the public by removing blight, according to city officials. Applications are submitted to the eight neighborhood councils, which evaluate the proposals and forward their recommendations to city staff. The recommendations are then presented to city council for final approval.

Last month, city council’s neighborhoods and housing committee approved a staff recommendation to approve the projects and funding.

Tacoma City Council is tentatively scheduled to vote on a resolution approving the innovative grant funding recommendations during its meeting on Tues., Sept. 25 at 5 p.m. at City Hall. A draft version of the resolution and brief summaries of each project recommended for funding are available online here.

Tacoma's Gas Station Park. (FILE PHOTO BY TODD MATTHEWS)
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