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Cottonwood plans for big municipal projects this year

Roads and Skies: Street project, airport needing funding

A vehicle drives south along Broadway Street in Cottonwood Tuesday morning, Aug. 23. The city has a grant to resurface the road between First South and Third South streets and plans to begin work in 2018.

Photo by Laurie Chapman
A vehicle drives south along Broadway Street in Cottonwood Tuesday morning, Aug. 23. The city has a grant to resurface the road between First South and Third South streets and plans to begin work in 2018.

— Cottonwood plans to enhance travel on both its roads and skies this year, if everything falls into place as planned.

The fiscal year 2017 budget proposal has earmarked a combined $929,903 for its street and airport fund, $852,862 and $77,041 respectively.

Cottonwood has a nearly $500,000 Local Highway District grant to rework sidewalks near the elementary school. It also has a federal grant covering the cost of resurfacing Broadway Street from First South Street to the grain elevator at Third South Street.

Jack Duman, Cottonwood City Council member, said he also would like to find a way to rework Second South Street from Broadway to just past the railroad tracks. If the city can cut costs on the other street projects this could be feasible.

The original timeline was to begin work on Broadway in 2017. However, Duman said the crew worked hard on the East Street project, and because the grant guidelines allow it, he will push the start date back to 2018.

Duman said work began in June of this year on East Street near Prairie Elementary School and wrapped up just before the Idaho County Fair. The project is part of plans dating back three years and included resurfacing the street from Foster Street to Butte Road, Duman said.

Jon Watson of Riedesel Engineering’s Lewiston office spoke at the July 11 City Council meeting about the next phase of the project. He states the project includes adding an 8-inch curb and gutter and sidewalks along East Street from Jenny Street connecting with Business Highway 95 and on to Hogan Street.

Duman said when this project is complete; residents will be able to walk from the elementary school to downtown Cottonwood on a sidewalk.

Watson expected the bid package to be ready for the city in October. The city would then have the option of beginning the construction in the winter or waiting for a May to August window, he said. The benefit with the second option was not interfering with school traffic.

The second upcoming project for the city includes resurfacing the runway at the airport.

Based on information found online at, Cottonwood Municipal Airport is located one mile southeast of Cottonwood and rests at an elevation 3,474 feet above sea level. The airport, owned by the City of Cottonwood, is open to the public and was activated in July of 1949. Runway 7 is 3,100 by 50 feet and Runway 25 is 945 by 15 meters, both with an asphalt surface.

Linda Nida, council member, said the Idaho Department of Transportation did an inspection and advised the city it could update the runways through the Capital Improvement Program. The state budgets out for five years, so the city would need to begin and complete the work between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.

“If I don’t take it then I could lose my spot. Then I have to wait another five years to get back in the rotation,” she said.

Included in the project are installing new asphalt in the apron overlays and adding a slurry fill on top. In July the council discussed how this portion of the project could prove difficult. The city may have to go to Spokane to utilize the vehicle necessary for slurry work.

The state assessed the work at $200,000 and will commit half to the project. Cottonwood will be responsible for funding the remainder through monies and in-kind donations and services, Nida said.

At the July council meeting, Mayor Shelli Schumacher said she had been asking residents to weigh in on potentially spending money on the project. She said reactions were very positive and supportive.

She stated the consensus she received was residents don’t want to be put in the position of not having the option to use the airport in medical emergencies.

“That one time we need it and we don’t have it isn’t worth not spending $100,000,” she said.

Nida said the airport is utilized as a point of transport by St. Mary’s Hospital when the helicopter is not available.


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