Kirkland gains, loses funds under 2013-2015 state budget
After a regular legislative session, one special session and half of a second special session, Kirkland city officials now know what legislators secured for the city and what funding was dropped.
For more than 150 days, budget disagreement between the Democrats and Republicans left many cities wondering whether a budget would be passed before the ominous government shutdown feared to take place on July 1. But the Washington Legislature recently passed a budget that left Kirkland with wins, losses and some hope.
“The city is thrilled to have gotten some good news out of the Legislature,” said Lorrie McKay, the Intergovernmental Relations manager for the city of Kirkland. “You get a little, you lose a little and you go back. It was nine months of really hard focus work to try and do right for the residents of Kirkland.”
Thanks to Sen. Rodney Tom, D-Medina, who leads the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, McKay said $1.3 million was allotted from the capital budget to design and construct an enclosed elevator, accessible by those with disabilities, and a covered pedestrian bridge walkway that will be incorporated into the new South Kirkland Transit Oriented Development public parking garage. The access will connect the Cross Kirkland Corridor with the development.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Sen. Tom to include the pedestrian bridge in the capital budget,” McKay said, noting the funds were for phase one of the project.
And with the passage of a $65 million grant for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program in the capital budget, $500,000 was given to the Cross Kirkland Corridor.
The Cross Kirkland Corridor project was ranked No. 2 by the state-run Recreation and Conservation office and approved by the office’s funding board for this 2013 funding cycle.
Marilynne Beard, Kirkland’s deputy city manager, said the city is “very pleased” with that grant, which will eventually go toward developing a recreational trail at the Cross Kirkland Corridor 5.75-mile-long span.
Read the complete story at the Kirkland Reporter.