12th District capital projects update

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October 23, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

As you may know, the state approves three budgets every two years. These budgets (operating, transportation, and capital) fund day-to-day activities, transportation improvements, and infrastructure projects in our state. While much public attention is directed to the operating budget and its issues, including education funding, health care, and wildfire response, I think it is helpful to also focus on the other two budgets. The transportation budget garners less public interest, but its funding is very important to our region. Last fall, I focused one of my email updates on transportation issues and local projects, which you can review by clicking here. This fall, I’d like to focus on the capital budget because it funds many significant projects throughout our region.

Update on 12th District Capital Projects 

In recent years, the 12th District team has been able to generate big wins for our region through the capital budget, including the replacement of key infrastructure following tragic wildfires, the expansion of outdoor recreation opportunities that improve our economy and quality of life, and enhancements to key community response systems. Our legislative team has been able to leverage the capital budget to successfully fund many of our regional priorities, including the Wells Hall replacement for Wenatchee Valley College, Chelan County Emergency Operations Center, Twisp Civic Building, Winthrop Library, Wenatchi Landing sewer extension, Saddle Rock soil remediation, and a variety of recreation and park facility improvements. Click here to review a list of 2019-2021 approved capital budget projects. Here is an update on some of our recently approved capital projects:

Wenatchi Landing Sewer Extension

Wenatchi Landing graphic

The Wenatchi Landing sewer extension is a key infrastructure enhancement planned for the Wenatchee Valley. The overall Wenatchi Landing area, once developed, will provide 283 acres of economic opportunities for multiple uses including housing, recreation, and commercial space.

The capital budget approved last session includes $4 million in funding for Wenatchi Landing sewer extension in Douglas County to extend sewer infrastructure along Empire Avenue NW from 29th Street NW toward 35th Street NW. (The project's name and spelling are based on Native Americans who once lived in the area). I am proud to have sponsored this project and greatly enjoyed working alongside my House seatmates and numerous hardworking stakeholders from our area, including the Douglas County commissioners, sewer district, and port district to secure full funding for the project. The sewer extension is the first step of major infrastructure enhancements to this area of Douglas County. The Wenatchi Landing area, once developed, will provide 283 acres of economic opportunities for multiple uses including housing, recreation, and commercial space. This sewer extension will be installed over the next two years. For more information, click here.

Saddle Rock Soil Remediation

Saddle Rock

The City of Wenatchee, owner of Saddle Rock and its Gateway Trailhead, received a recent state grant for soil remediation. This work, currently being conducted, will clear the way for future trail improvements. (Peter Bauer Photography)

Saddle Rock is an extremely popular local hiking destination and also a park owned by the City of Wenatchee. I was proud to partner recently with Wenatchee Mayor Frank Kuntz and members of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust to help secure funding to improve Saddle Rock. As a result of past mining, any ground-disturbing activity needed to develop an emergency access path or other much-needed trail improvements could not be conducted without first removing certain rock waste and arsenic-contaminated soil. Thanks to the City of Wenatchee and its contractors, the first phase of this work is now completed with more work scheduled for next summer. The Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and its active group of supporters are ready to help establish a safer and more hiker-friendly trail, once the soil and rock work is ultimately completed. For an update, click here.

Winthrop Library Construction

Winthrop Library

The Winthrop Library, scheduled to break ground in 2020, will benefit Winthrop and the Methow Valley by providing modernized space for small-group study, community collaborations, and distance learning.

The Friends of the Winthrop Library (FOWL) has done a fabulous job sharing its vision for a new library. FOWL's outreach to the Legislature and throughout the Methow Valley has created an impressive opportunity for this community. The library is anticipated to cost approximately $5 million and has received a state capital budget grant of $2 million. Led by the good work of Representative Steele and supported by our 12th District legislators and others, this important state matching grant provides a partnership with library organizers who are still actively raising funds. The existing library in Winthrop is significantly undersized compared to the community served. The new library, set to break ground next year, will provide modernized space for the benefit of Winthrop residents and the broader Methow Valley community. For a complete facility update, including artist renderings and architectural designs, view this information pamphlet and this slideshow.

Wells Hall Building Replacement

Wells Hall

The Legislature has funded the replacement of Wells Hall at Wenatchee Valley College. A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 29, at 5 p.m. Construction is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021.

The 2019-21 capital budget includes nearly $35 million for the Wells Hall replacement building on the campus of Wenatchee Valley College. The current Wells Hall was built in 1951 and is one of the oldest community college buildings still used for instructional purposes. The new building will replace four of the five wings of Wells Hall. The remaining wing that includes the campus theater and ceramics studio will become a stand-alone building. The new Wells Hall will be three stories and over 70,000 square feet. It will include a conference center available for public use and 25 classrooms along with numerous offices and program spaces. Additionally, Wenatchee Valley College is partnering with Chelan County for the Wells Hall to house the future Chelan County Emergency Operations Center. I could not be happier about this partnership because the emergency operations center will benefit our entire region and is a facility that I have long supported alongside Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett and his staff. The new Wells Hall will be a tremendous resource for our college and community. Construction will begin in November and is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021. Please visit this Wenatchee Valley College website for construction updates.

These are some updates involving capital budget projects throughout our district. If you have any questions about these projects or future efforts, please contact me anytime.

Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as your state senator.



Brad Hawkins

State Senator Brad Hawkins
12th Legislative District
E-mail: brad.hawkins@leg.wa.gov 

Website: senatorbradhawkins.org

107 Newhouse Building - P.O. Box 40412 | Olympia, WA 98504-0412
(360) 786-7622 or Toll-free: (800) 562-6000