Final budgets launch projects for 16th District, state

OLYMPIA – Budgets approved in the final hours of the 2018 legislative session boost important projects in the 16th Legislative District, including a building renovation at Walla Walla Community College and an irrigation project in the Horse Heaven Hills.

Other appropriations in the state public-works budget expand on projects that already have been allocated state funding, including replacement of a failing well in the city of College Place and a new administrative building at the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla. In addition, Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-Walla Walla, obtained money in the operating budget for Parent-to-Parent programs operated by the Arc of Washington State.

“I’m glad we were able to free up additional funding for the College Place water project,” Walsh said. “Meanwhile, state funding for the parent-to-parent programs will help parents of disabled children statewide. Projects like these make a real difference for our communities.”

The money is contained in supplemental budgets passed by lawmakers March 8, shortly before adjournment of the 2018 legislative session. Lawmakers this year passed supplemental budgets making changes to the two-year budgets they wrote last year for 2017-19.

The supplemental operating budget provides $290,000 for the Parent-to-Parent programs, which provide support to parents of individuals with developmental disabilities. Programs currently operate in 21 counties, serving nearly 31,000 people. The programs help familiarize parents with available services and offer training.

Appropriations included in the supplemental capital budget include:

  • Paterson Pipeline. A $17.7 million loan to finance an irrigation project on 4,400 acres of land owned by the Department of Natural Resources in the Horse Heaven Hills near Paterson. Revenues from leased irrigated lands will repay the loan with interest.
  • Washington State Penitentiary. $1 million for a program and support building at the Washington State Penitentiary, in addition to the $8.6 million provided by the 2017-19 capital budget. The building is part of a major upgrade to the prison’s medium security complex, which recently added 512 beds.
  • Walla Walla Community College. $1.1 million for renovation of the Science and Technology Building at Walla Walla Community College, to provide science labs and informal student study spaces to serve college programs in physics, earth sciences and math.
  • College Place well. $618,000 for relocation of a municipal well in the city of College Place, adding to the $900,000 provided in the 2017-19 capital budget. The well is failing and is functionally unreliable due to shaft problems and geotechnical issues. Money will be used to design, site and construct a new well.
  • Schwerin Concaves cleanup. $365,000 for cleanup of the Schwerin Concaves site in Walla Walla County, adding to $318,000 provided in the 2017-19 capital budget.
  • Sudbury Landfill. $57,000 for cleanup of the Sudbury Landfill at Walla Walla. This comes in addition to $2.9 million in loans for expansion of the landfill provided in the 2017-19 capital budget.