Board members from the Lewiston Urban Renewal Agency approved a 2020 budget Tuesday that, for the first time in years, doesn’t include the now-shuttered revenue allocation area on the Nez Perce Terrace.

The area closed as part of the out-of-court settlement of a lawsuit brought by Nez Perce County that sought to curtail the expansion of the agency’s activities. It has continued to fund new projects in new areas, however, including improvements to the intersection of U.S. Highway 12 and 21st Street and the expansion of sanitary sewer in the eastern Lewiston Orchards.

The agency also recently opened a new area around Bryden Avenue that is collecting a portion of property tax revenues that will ultimately be used to rebuild and widen the road and replace aging underground utilities. The 2020 budget, approved unanimously by the agency board Tuesday, shows revenues beginning to trickle in there, plus the transfer of funds to the intersection and sewer projects from their respective revenue allocation areas.

Property taxes on new development on the Nez Perce Terrace over the years generated enough revenue for the agency to help fund a number of infrastructure projects, the last being the Nez Perce Drive extension that opened earlier this year. The agency contributed half of the cost of the $4 million project, in conjunction with the McCann Family Limited Partnership, and both parties hope the road will spur new development in the area.

City officials also hailed the road extension as a badly needed east-west arterial that can feed the site that includes the new Lewiston High School, a technical education center for Lewis-Clark State College, the city’s Community Park and the growing residential areas in the eastern Orchards and beyond.

Mills may be contacted at jmills@lmtribune.com or (208) 848-2266.

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