Projects funded on Twin Harbors —

Projects funded on Twin Harbors

By Steven Friederich; April 23, 2007 © The Aberdeen Daily World

Monday, April 23, 2007

OLYMPIA — The Legislature sent a $4.3 billion construction budget to the governor on Sunday. It features millions of dollars for projects across the Twin Harbors, including grants for John Gable Park in Hoquiam, the South Bend Community Center, the Union Gospel Mission in Aberdeen and the Satsop business park.

Imperium Renewables, the biodiesel plant taking shape at the Port of Grays Harbor, benefits from a $2.5 million low-interest loan in the capital budget for the Port to help design and construct a pre-treatment system that will encourage greater use of Washington feedstock, such as canola.

House Majority Leader Lynn Kessler, D-Hoquiam, says this is a “big win” for the Harbor since neither the governor’s nor the senate’s budget wish list included the project.

“This really was a must-have for the biodiesel plant,” Kessler said.

Schools & prisons

The capital budget was unanimously approved by the Senate Saturday, then cleared the House 96-1 on Sunday.

Statewide, the plan includes $880 million to help school districts build new schools, $158 million for prisons, and $100 million for the Washington Wildlife & Recreation Program.

There’s also $226 million for Puget Sound cleanup and salmon recovery and $110 million for the State Heritage Center, which will house the state archives and library and historical exhibits on the Capitol Campus in Olympia.

A total of $1.1 billion is earmarked for higher education buildings, including projects at Grays Harbor College.

GHC will receive $1 million for a new child care facility, $276,000 to help design a new math and science building, and $498,000 for the college’s Riverview Education Center in Pacific County. The college also received $274,882 for infrastructure improvements, $703,872 to do facility preservation and $82,246 for roof repairs.

Sen. Brian Hatfield, D-Raymond, was pleased that the budget includes $300,000 for the Community Center. “It’s in desperate need of some help,” he said. The money wasn’t in the House or governor’s budget plans but was in the Senate’s, Hatfield said.

Hatfield said he had also wanted to help the Raymond Theatre, but said that by the time he realized the financial straits it was in, the legislative session had moved too far along.

“Maybe next year,” he said. “I need to find out more.”

Meantime, there’s $5.053 million for major renovation work at the Satsop Development Center’s turbine building. The building needs to be remodeled with some major interior work done so that a business can use it. Satsop officials are in talks with a hot water tank manufacturer from Olympia that is interested in expanding.

Other projects:

* John Gable Park next to Hoquiam High School received a $148,976 “revitalization” grant.

* The Polson Museum in Hoquiam was awarded a $171,000 grant for its fundraising campaign to build a historic “railroad camp” exhibit.

* The Union Gospel Mission was awarded $562,000 to help with its $3.7 million project to construct a new multi-use center in Aberdeen, although the mission will need to raise $84,000 in matching local donations to get the grant

* The Pacific County Historical Society received a $186,000 grant.

* $10,000 was allocated for a water tank in the Tokeland/North Cove area for the use of firefighters

* Grants provided by the Interagency Committee for Outdoor Recreation include $116,790 for a nature trail at South Bend; $250,000 for Willapa Bay restoration; $627,299 for the Chehalis River Surge Plain Natural Area Preserve and two grants for the Elk River Natural Resources Conservation Area — one for $896,070 and a second for $299,700.

The construction budget is House Bill 1092

Snippets:

Every last day: Legislative leaders wanted to finish early, but the budget-year session lasted all 105 days allotted by state Constitution. Next year, it’s a short 60-day mopup session and then the campaign trail.

Bragging rights: Lawmakers approved operating, transportation and construction budgets; health care expansion and mental health parity; education bills, including WASL delays; prison reform; domestic partner benefits; a simple majority for school levies, which will go before the voters for ratification; primary ballot updates and on-line voter registration; environmental legislation; a ban on handheld cell phones and text-messaging by drivers; family leave insurance; a rainy day fund; a poet laureate; medically accurate sex education and a “rainy day” reserve plan.

Bite the dust: The session killed bills dealing with a new arena for the Seattle Sonics and a NASCAR track, gun control, impeachment and Iraq, an income tax, homeowner rights, payday loans, property tax limits, public campaign financing — and dogs in bars.

Steven Friederich, a Daily World writer, can be reached at (360) 532-4000 ext. 134 or by e-mail at sfriederich@the dailyworld.com

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