WENATCHEE — A clean-up of the old Cashmere Mill site. The purchase of 4,000 acres in the Stemilt Basin. Completion of the Beebe Springs Natural Area.
These are just a few of the many projects funded in the state ‘s capital budget, which passed the Legislature last weekend.
All together, the 12th Legislative District garnered $27.64 million in projects out of a total $3.6 billion to be spent statewide. The capital budget does not include the $33.6 billion operating budget, which lawmakers also passed just before a state government shutdown was set to take place.
Local projects include everything from farmworker housing and money to rebuild a wildlife fence that burned in last summer’s Byrd Fire.
Land acquisitions and trail construction are also in these funds, and range from nearly $3.8 million to build an extension to the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail, to $365,000 for the much smaller Susie Stevens Trail that will connect downtown Winthrop with businesses on the south end of town.
Sen. Linda Evans Parlette, R-Wenatchee, said she heard from a lot of people favoring the more than $1 million appropriation for the Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, which made it through the budget. Officials with that nonprofit organization were not available to talk about plans for the funds.
Parlette said she was also happy to get funds in the budget to rebuild a part of a wildlife fence that burned in the Byrd Fire last year, and money to complete the Beebe Springs Recreation Area.
Ten Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program projects were also funded, including $1.25 million to buy some 4,000 acres in the Stemilt Basin.
Chelan County’s natural resource director Mike Kaputa said the Stemilt Partnership has worked for years to protect this and other state property in the basin for its water resources and wildlife. This grant will help secure six or seven parcels of land owned by Longview Fiber, which may now belong to Weyerhauser, he said. “We still have some work to do. We still have to secure an option from Longview,” he said. “And we have to come up with a local match.”
Another WWRP funded project includes $286,000 for the city of Wenatchee to reimburse the Trust for Public Lands for acquisition of the Lower Castle Rock access, said Wenatchee’s parks director Dave Erickson.
He said the $31,000 earmarked to buy a 5-acre parcel and build a trailhead adjacent to Saddle Rock won’t even begin to pay for that $900,000 project, so the city will reapply for that in the next funding cycle.
Some of NCW’s main capital projects and their funding levels include:
Columbia Confluence Farmworker Housing, $6 million
Rocky Reach trail development, $3.755 million
Port of Chelan’s Cashmere Mill cleanup, $3.5 million
Camas Meadows protection, $1.86 million
Icicle Creek Center for the Arts, $1.052 million
Wenatchee Confluence State Park, replace failed RV electrical hookups, $970,000
Mid-Columbia grouse protection, $900,000
Beebe Springs Natural Area, $500,000
Winthrop Ice Rink, $497,000
Colockum Wildlife Area road renovation, $378,000
Susie Stephens Trail, $365,000
Quilomene boundary fence, $250,000