During its Aug. 13 meeting, the Highland City Council approved a resolution authorizing staff to move forward on a project to improve sidewalks and crosswalks on Sterling Avenue, Water Street and Central Avenue using funds awarded to the project by San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) through its Transportation Development Act.

The city was awarded $263,383 for the $432,411 project, and Tuesday’s action authorized city staff to continue in design and construction work and submit for reimbursement from the SBCTA grant as needed.

The remaining $169,028 will be paid by the city.

As reported by City Engineer Ernest Wong, the project will construct curbs, gutters and sidewalks on Sterling between Ninth Street and Base Line, to close gaps and provide ADA access at Warm Springs Elementary, as well as on the north side of Water Street between Cram Road and Weaver Street. Water Street will also receive new bike lanes from Church Street to Weaver.

Curb ramps and a crosswalk with in-road warning lights will be constructed on Central Avenue at Hibiscus Street. This will place the lighted crosswalk at the bus stop in front of the Highland public library and further protect a crossing used by Cypress Elementary School classes who use the neighboring library as their school library.

Four additional bus stops on Base Line will also receive improvements.

The project is still designing the project and construction is estimated to begin in about six months, Wong said.

Reimbursements will be claimed by the city periodically as the project is completed, not less than once every six months until the total amount is claimed.

In other news:

The city council also voted 4-0 (Jesse Chavez was absent) to join about two dozen other cities in adopting a resolution supporting balanced energy solutions and the maintaining of local control of energy solutions.

The resolution, spearheaded by the Inland Empire Economic Partnership and Californians for Balanced Energy Solutions, is meant as a call for more inclusive energy policies as state legislative efforts aim to move the state toward becoming a “zero-emission state" and a possible ban of natural gas.

“I personally believe we need to stay fuel neutral, and natural gas and electricity compete well with each other,” said Mayor Pro Tem Larry McCallon, the council’s longtime representative on the governing board for South Coast Air Quality Management District. “Looking at the results of pollution, renewable natural gas with some of the new engines out there versus this generation of electricity, they’re about comparable.”

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