OLYMPIA… Important projects for the 35th Legislative District got the nod Tuesday night as Washington lawmakers passed a $3.9 billion capital construction budget.
Those projects include a $400,000 renovation of the Shelton Senior Center, $1.5 million for sewer rehabilitation in the city of Shelton, $1.5 million for wastewater relief in the community of Belfair and $3 million for a new dormitory that will house 50 students at the Washington Youth Academy in Bremerton.
“Making sure local projects like these are funded is one of the most important tasks we have as legislators,” said state Sen. Tim Sheldon, D-Potlatch. “This year’s capital budget did an outstanding job of balancing rural and urban needs, and we can see the result in this year’s spending plan. People everywhere want parks and trails, good public facilities and sewer and water systems that work. In our rural communities we are just as concerned about our quality of life as those who live in Seattle, and this is a plan that recognizes it.”
The capital budget, financed in large part by bonds, pays for durable assets like buildings, land acquisitions and improvements to public parks. Each year’s funding list reflects top-priority projects for communities across the state. The capital budget is separate from the state’s $38.2 billion operating budget, which is financed with current tax revenues.
35th district Reps. Drew MacEwen, R-Union, and Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, said the budget will reduce the high cost of sewer and wastewater projects in Shelton and Belfair. “I am proud to stand in support of the 2015-17 Capital Budget with Sen. Sheldon and Rep. Griffey,” MacEwen said. “The capital budget we passed tonight funds important projects in our community including improvements to the Shelton Senior Center, and continued work on the Shelton sewer basin project. There is no limit to what we can accomplish by working together. I look forward to seeing these completed, along with all the projects funded in the budget.”
“The 2015-17 Capital Budget makes a number of crucial investments throughout our state and in the 35th District,” said Griffey. “The Basin 3 Sewer Rehabilitation project will alleviate inflationary pressures on sewer rates, as well as reduce pollution and contamination. Another important project is the renovation of the Shelton Senior Center. Renovations will benefit the more than 1,200 seniors that utilize the facilities there. I was proud to cast a ‘yes’ vote on this budget, and want to thank negotiators on both sides of the aisle for coming together in a spirit of compromise to help our communities and the state.”
Other projects funded by the Senate capital budget include $5.5 million for electrical and roof repairs at the Washington Corrections Center in Shelton, and $4.6 million to shift trout hatchery production from the Clarks Creek Hatchery in Puyallup to the Eells Springs Hatchery in Shelton.
The budget provides $1 million to help purchase 58 acres for Coulter Creek Park at the head of North Bay in Mason County, leveraging a $1 million local matching grant. It provides $850,000 to purchase 80 acres of salt-marsh habitat for the Kennedy Creek Natural Area Preserve, 12 miles west of Olympia in Mason County. Another $2.2 million will be used to purchase 114 acres of wetlands for the Ink Blot and Schumacher Creek Natural Area Preserves, north of Shelton on Highway 101.