The state House unveiled its $3.1 billion state construction budget proposal Monday, with some good news for the Olympic Peninsula, according to legislative aides.
The budget proposal includes $10 million for a wastewater treatment and reuse system in Carlsborg.
Projects in both Clallam and Jefferson counties are included in the proposal, and state Rep. Steve Tharinger (D–Sequim), who sits on the House Capital Budget committee, said he’ll work hard to make sure they remain in the final version.
“The capital budget is a job creation budget, because it involves construction,” Tharinger said. “Whether it’s new construction or renovations and repairs, it puts people to work in local communities and improves our local infrastructure.”
Tharinger said the inclusion of $2 million for Building 202 at Ford Worden State Park is important for improving higher education access in Jefferson County. The project involves renovating former military barracks at the state park into classroom space to be used by Peninsula College.
Rep. Kevin Van De Wege (D–Sequim), who co-chairs the Legislature’s Heritage Caucus, was pleased that several Heritage projects on the Olympic Peninsula made the final cut.
“Port Townsend’s historic library and the Jefferson County Courthouse will be able to get seismic retrofits, which will improve structural safety and ensure that they can continue to serve the community,” Van De Wege said.
A list of major projects that made the final cut into the House proposed budget include:
• $10 million for a wastewater treatment and reuse system in Carlsborg
• $10 million for a wastewater system in Port Hadlock
• $2 million for Peninsula College/Building 202 at Fort Worden State Park
• $300,000 for roof rehabilitation and related seismic retrofit for the historic Jefferson County Courthouse.
• $375,000 for a seismic retrofit and restoration of the Port Townsend Carnegie Library building.
• $118,000 to the Schooner Martha Foundation, to fund restoration of the historic vessel Martha.
• $52,000 to Serenity House of Clallam County, a non-profit organization providing emergency and transitional housing. The funds will help complete the final renovation phase of the Tempest Complex.
In all, Tharinger and Van De Wege say the Olympic Peninsula fared well in the House proposal.
“These are extremely lean times in state government, and there are many more worthy projects than there are dollars to pay for them,” Tharinger said. “We’re pleased that these projects will likely be able to move forward.”
The Senate will release its own Capital Budget proposal, and then the two chambers will work together on a compromise, which must be voted on before the end of the regular legislative session.
The session is scheduled to end April 24.