WASHINGTON, D.C. — The $1.7 trillion omnibus spending bill expected to be signed into law by President Joe Biden before Friday includes millions for projects specifically in Clallam County.
Nearly $3 million will go to the Joint Emergency Services and Public Safety Facility planned by Clallam County and the City of Port Angeles. Allocated for the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is $1.92 million for facilities and equipment and for the Makah Tribe $4.8 million for facilities and equipment as well as $2 million for the Makah Passage and Hobuck Residential Road Project.
The bill passed Congress on Friday. Biden is expected to sign it before government funding runs out on Friday. The spending bill would fund the government through next fall and deliver an additional $45 billion to the war effort in Ukraine.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Seattle, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, helped author and negotiate the bill.
U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, requested funding for several projects through the House Appropriations Committee’s Community Project Funding process, or earmarks.
Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Mountlake Terrace, also reported victories for projects in the bill, detailing grassroots efforts in counties that include Clallam and Jefferson.
Here are details about Clallam County projects that received federal funding:
• Joint Emergency Services and Public Safety Facility — $2,965,800.
Clallam County and the City of Port Angeles have been working to create a Joint Emergency Services and Public Safety Facility since 2019, but have yet to agree on a site for it.
It would provide a new space for the Emergency Operations Center, which is activated in times of disasters or other emergencies. The present EOC operates from the basement of the Clallam County Courthouse, 223 E. Fourth St. in Port Angeles. The site is too small and is in a precarious position if a massive quake, such as from the Cascadia Subduction Zone, strikes, officials have said.
The new Joint Public Safety Facility also would house the Emergency Management division of the Clallam County Sheriff’s Office, Peninsula Communications (PenCom, which handles 911 calls).
It is expected to cost about $13 million.
“This investment is about protecting public safety,” Kilmer said. “This facility will ensure local public safety authorities have the tools and resources they need to serve four tribal governments, three municipalities, a county, an international airport, a state prison, and a national park.”
County Commissioner Randy Johnson thanked Kilmer for looking “at our outdated and seismically and electronically deficient facilities. … We all recognize that in an event of a major disaster, the citizens of Clallam County absolutely need to have new facilities that are structurally secure.”
This new facility will replace a seismically compromised EOC that is 44 years old, according to Sheriff Bill Benedict.
“Congressman Kilmer and his staff have been with us for the past eight years as we have researched and planned this facility,” Benedict said.
• Lower Elwha Klallam Health and Wellness Complex — $1,911,875.
The funds will go toward site planning, design preparation and initial construction stages of the Lower Elwha Klallam Health and Wellness Complex.
It will be built on the 40-acre campus on U.S. Highway 101 west of Port Angeles that houses the current Lower Elwha Health Department buildings, so that it will be located with the existing Lower Elwha Family Health Clinic and Klallam Counseling Services for Chemical Dependency.
Planning for the facility began more than 15 years ago “by a group of committed tribal members who have continued to advocate for this project over the years,” said Frances Charles, tribal chair.
“This funding will be the catalyst for enhancing prevention-focused care and optimizing long-term health outcomes for the tribe, the surrounding tribes that utilize healthcare services at the Lower Elwha Tribe, and the Port Angeles community,” she said.
“Most importantly, it will provide renewed energy and opportunity for young tribal people to mitigate chronic disease that has historically plagued Native communities.”
• Makah Tribe’s Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Center — $4,853,000.
The funding for the Makah Tribe aims to help the tribe expand and relocate the critical medical services of the Sophie Trettevick Indian Health Center out of the tsunami inundation zone.
“This funding will support the relocation of our only health care facility out of the tsunami inundation zone and a connectivity shadow, which is a long-term priority of the Makah Tribe, said Timothy J. Greene, Sr., chairman of the tribal council.
“The pandemic has underscored the importance of the resilience of our local health care systems and infrastructure,” he added.
“This is not only an investment in the health of the Makah people, but an investment in community and climate resilience, disaster preparedness, and continuity of care.”
Investments in the Makah Tribe’s health care infrastructure are essential from an equity and public health standpoint as well as being consistent with the federal trust obligations under the 1855 Treaty of Neah Bay, according to Kilmer’s office.
“Native communities in our region and across our country have consistently struggled to deliver essential health services and programs to support reservation residents,” Kilmer said in the press release.
“The federal government has an obligation to fulfill its trust and treaty responsibilities and to make sure that people have the resources they need to live healthy lives. That’s why I’m proud to have secured more than $6.7 million to advance projects that will make a big difference for tribes on the Olympic Peninsula.”
• Makah Passage and Hobuck Residential Road Project – $2,000,000.
This project would improve connected sections of Makah Passage and Hobuck Residential Road for 2 miles of roadway, according to Cantwell’s office.
Makah Passage is a main road on the Makah Reservation and Hobuck Residential road connects at least 40 residents and 30 tribal enterprise resort cabins to the rest of the community.
Makah Passage is also part of the tsunami evacuation route for this portion of the reservation and the section this project addresses runs from near the tribal center out toward the Hobuck Beach Resort to Tsoo-Yess Beach.
In Jefferson County, some $3 million is allocated for the Port Hadlock Sewer Project; $2.5 million each for the City of Port Townsend’s Sewer Pump Station Project and Jefferson Healthcare’s Cancer Treatment Project; and nearly $1.9 million for a tsunami evacuation center for the Hoh Tribe.
A detailed summary of the Consolidated Appropriations Act is available at https://appropriations.house.gov.