Village Park to get repairs

Residents in Prosser's Village Park subdivision can look forward to better streets, sidewalks and a more reliable water system by year's end.

The Prosser City Council voted 4-0 on Tuesday to proceed with a $700,000 makeover of the affordable housing neighborhood's streets and water system. Three council members were absent.

A Community Development Block Grant of $600,000 and a $60,000 loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay for the work, which will begin before summer and should be completed by year's end, said City Manager Charlie Bush.

"We're going back to do what should have been done in the beginning," Bush said.

Infrastructure problems became apparent a few years ago when the water system, which had been designed and installed as a private system with only one meter, began to profusely leak.

Bush said residents' water bills were getting higher because of the leaks. The best fix was to completely replace the aging system with a public system built by the city to city standards, Bush said.

Deema Medley, who owns a house in the neighborhood and is president of the homeowners association, said it's important to replace the water system.

"The last time there was a major water leak, the fix cost $10,000. This is a low-income neighborhood and the people can't afford that. If we had another leak, we'd be sunk," Medley said.

The streets also needed work, so the city council agreed to take over those, too, and build new sidewalks.

"Everything will be public instead of private, and Prosser will preserve its affordable housing," Bush said.

Tuesday's public hearing had no one commenting for or against it, Bush said.