State Senate’s capital budget has $9.9 million for 24th District projects

PORT TOWNSEND — The state Senate’s proposed capital construction budget allocates $9.9 million to projects in the 24th Legislative District, including a number of recreation projects.

The construction budget was passed with a unanimous vote in the Senate on March 30 and will now need to be reconciled with the House of Representatives’ $4.5 billion construction budget.

Sen. Kevin Van De Wege, D-Sequim, said the budgets differ only slightly, so it’s unlikely the funding for projects on the Olympic Peninsula will shift too much.

“I wouldn’t say there’s major differences,” Van De Wege said. “I would say it’s not anything that can’t be easily reconciled.”

The Senate budget proposes $9.9 million in funding — mostly in grants — to projects on the Olympic Peninsula.

Van De Wege said he didn’t know how that number compared to past budgets, but said the 24th District did well in terms of funding this year.

“I think our district did well in the house and did well in the Senate, so I’m confident we’ll do well in the final budget.”

In Jefferson County, the Senate proposed a $1 million dental capacity grant for the Jefferson County Healthcare Dental Clinic.

Fort Worden and the historic schooner Adventuress, which regularly docks in Port Townsend, are both slotted for heritage capital grants.

In the Senate proposal, the Adventuress would receive $338,000 for the final phase in its centennial restoration project and Fort Worden would receive $643,000, which would go toward rehabilitating historic warehouses at the state park.

In Clallam County, the Senate approved the Port Angeles Boys &Girls Club for a $1 million youth recreational facilities grant. Port Angeles also was slotted for a dental capacity grant for Volunteers in Medicine for $699,000.

The Senate budget also approved $160,000 for improvements to the Captain Joseph House Foundation in Port Angeles.

However, a large portion of the funds approved for Jefferson and Clallam counties comes in the form of wildlife recreation grants.

“There’s always a big push for recreation grants,” Van De Wege said. “That’s an area that we have a lot of need so we can get a lot of projects.”

The grants approved by the Senate include $107,000 for Serendipity Farm in Quilcene; $325,000 for renovations for better public access to Lake Leland in Jefferson County; $99,000 for restoration to the Dabob Bay Natural Area Lowland Forest; and $649,000 for the restoration to the Spruce Railroad Trail along Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park.

The construction budget will have to be reconciled with the proposed House construction budget before it is finalized. The House Capital Budget Committee voted its measure to the floor for a vote or negotiation with the Senate on Friday morning.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].

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