Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Last week the Washington State Legislature passed a strong, bipartisan $4.17 billion capital budget. The capital budget funds infrastructure projects around the state, such as school construction, low-income housing, mental health facilities, and natural resources protection. Negotiations were long and difficult, but eventually resulted in new funding for many essential projects throughout the 31st District.
One of the largest projects in the state funded by the capital budget is the replacement of the sewer system in Carbonado. I worked hard to ensure we were able to secure the more than $13.3 million in capital funding needed to complete the project.
This interim, Carbonado Public Works Director Tom Argo gave me a tour of the failing sewer system (photo). It is a huge public health and safety issue. The clay sewer lines are 100 years old and they run close to the town's water lines and in many places are just a few inches below ground level, including through the school playground. Town officials should be commended for their tireless work on a plan to replace the system. It was critical we address this issue as soon as possible. I am pleased the capital budget includes the resources needed to replace the town's sewer system.
Other projects in the capital budget for the 31st Legislative District include:
- $500,000 to Nexus Youth and Families (formerly Auburn Youth Resources) for a homeless and behavior health services facility;
- $2.8 million to connect the Buckley and Enumclaw Foothills Trails, including a bike and pedestrian bridge over the White River;
- $763,000 for the Auburn Valley YMCA's campus expansion project;
- $620,000 for upgrades to Rainier School in Buckley;
- $500,000 for phase one of a new Edgewood Community Park;
- $43,000 for Roosevelt Park in Wilkeson;
- $7.75 million for new flood control and salmon restoration projects along the Puyallup, White and Carbon rivers;
- $103,000 for a new Daffodil Heritage Float barn near Sumner;
The capital budget also provides matching funds to school districts which recently passed bond measures. These are the school construction projects in the 31st District that are slated to receive additional state funds over the next 18 months:
- $9.3 million to replace and modernize Elk Ridge Elementary School in Buckley;
- $5.4 million for a new elementary school in Tahaleh;
- $2.6 million to upgrade the Carbonado school building;
- $17.3 million to replace Olympic Middle School in Auburn;
- $7.5 million to replace and modernize Emerald Hills Elementary School in Bonney Lake;
- $5.6 million to replace and modernize Wilkeson Elementary School; and
- $8.1 million to replace and modernize Glacier Middle School in Buckley.
The final capital budget, Senate Bill 6090, passed with strong bipartisan support, by a vote of 95-1 in the House of Representatives and 49-0 in the Senate. The governor signed the budget into law the next day.
If you have any questions about the capital budget or any of its projects, please do not hesitate to contact me.
It is an honor to represent the 31st Legislative District.