MATTAWA — Projects in Mattawa, Othello and Ritzville could receive funding through the Washington Legislature’s biennial 2023-25 capital budget. Capital budget proposals for each legislative district were released by the Washington House and Senate last week.
The budgets released last week are proposals only; the projects that make the final list will depend on negotiations between the House and Senate. House and Senate capital budget proposals differ because each chamber has different spending limits.
The Senate and House budgets each include funding for a project in Mattawa, but not the same project.
The Senate budget proposal includes about $1 million for the Sentinel Gap Community Park, which would be located on Road 24 SW, west of State Route 243. The new park would include soccer fields, a playground, benches, a venue for outdoor events and bathrooms.
During a Monday meeting with the Grant County Commissioners, consultant Pat Boss said port officials had commissioned a design for a park with the intention of looking for funding, and as a result had a design ready when the funding opportunity came up.
“I feel pretty good we’re going to get most of it, or all of it,” Boss said in answer to a question from Commissioner Danny Stone.
The proposed House capital budget includes $361,000 for upgrades to the Mattawa Event Center, also on Port property on Road 24 SW. The money would be used for site preparation and paving of the event center parking lot, installing a security fence and seven new light poles, according to a press release from the port.
The House budget sets aside $412,000 for a regional water plan for the city of Othello. The Senate budget includes $600,000 for upgrades to Othello’s Lions Park. City officials have been working since 2019 on a project to replace the old playground and basketball courts in Lions Park and obtained grants to pay most of the estimated construction cost. But the post-coronavirus pandemic inflation discombobulated the earlier estimates.
Ninth District representatives proposed setting aside $187,000 to replace some of the bleachers at the Ritzville Rodeo grounds, and $165,000 for renovating the American Legion post in Ritzville in the House proposal. The Senate capital budget proposal includes $194,000 for replacing the rodeo bleachers, and the same amount for the American Legion post. The Senate proposal also includes $75,000 for renovations of the Ritz Theater in Ritzville, as well as $20,000 for work on the Washtucna City Hall.
Cheryl Schweizer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.