City, residents working to improve Doris Drive area |

City, residents working to improve Doris Drive area

The Doris Drive neighborhood is a somewhat isolated area just north of historic downtown Grass Valley and the city has been working with its residents on improvements.

Because of a homeowner1s sewer failure and this area1s lack of fire protection, the city annexed this area in 1997. Soon after annexation, the city applied for a state Community Development Block Grant Technical Assistance Grant to develop a plan for this area. With funding from this grant, the Doris Drive Infrastructure Study was prepared by Sylvester Engineering, Inc. in 1998.

This study found the roads in this area to be unpaved, steep and narrow, with serious erosion problems. Poor access, steep slopes, dense vegetation and the lack of fire hydrants produced major fire protection challenges. Older septic systems have the potential to fail, and on occasion have failed, contaminating private wells and runoff.

The study recommends the installation of storm drains, water and sewer lines, and fire hydrants. It also recommends the widening and paving of Doris and Carol drives to 18- and 20-foot sections, as well as the development of a new access road from North Auburn Street into the study area. The study even suggests a possible extension of the Litton Trail into this area. After input from the neighborhood, the City Council adopted the proposed plan in 1999.

We knew we would have to obtain grants in order to complete the upgrades for this neighborhood. In 2001, the city applied for a $490,000 State CDBG grant that included $191,700 for Doris Drive infrastructure improvements. Although the grant was originally denied, in May 2002 the application was reconsidered by the state Housing and Community Development Department and the city was awarded the full amount.

This grant provides funds for an initial project to construct a storm drain, install a water line with four hydrants and sewer lateral connections. It is anticipated that construction will begin on this project in the summer of 2003.

The remainder of the CDBG grant will enable the city to continue with its Housing Rehabilitation Program. These funds provide low interest loans to income-eligible households in the city (those who earn 80 percent or less of the County1s median income) for housing repairs, such as roof replacement, plumbing and electrical work.

The city and the Doris Drive neighborhood still face major challenges. Securing the necessary funding and right of way to widen and pave Doris and Carol drives as well as developing plans for constructing a new access route to this area from North Auburn remain long-term projects. By continuing to work with the residents and seeking out available state and federal grants, the city continues to be optimistic that this plan will become a reality.

If you have questions about the city1s Doris Drive Infrastructure Project, please contact the Public Works Department at 274-4350. If you have questions about the City1s Housing Rehabilitation Program, please contact the Community Development Department at 274-4344.


Linda Stevens is mayor of Grass Valley.

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