Updated capital budget proposed by Senate

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February 21, 2020

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. The third state budget, the capital budget, funds many significant projects throughout our region.

Senate proposes supplemental capital budget

The Senate released its proposed update to the 2019-2021 capital budget Wednesday evening. The House is expected to release its proposed update on Monday. While the Senate proposal is not substantially different than the current budget, it does make a number of updates to school facility improvements, higher education building additions, and land conservation activities. 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.

Links to Senate's capital budget proposal

Senate budget funds Wenatchee Valley Museum

I am very pleased to share that the Senate-proposed supplemental capital budget includes $200,000 in funding for community space improvements at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center. As you may know, having access to adequate community meeting space is a growing concern for the Wenatchee Valley. The community has often relied upon the Wenatchee Valley Museum’s space for community conversations, forums, recitals, and other events. The museum has graciously hosted these important events and discussions, but the facility was not originally designed for such a purpose and is in need of various capital improvements. The Senate funding is intended to make media, lighting, seating, and sound improvements and possibly include funding for installing an interior wall. I have enjoyed working closely with the museum’s executive director, Keni Sturgeon, and staff on this request along with my 12th District seatmates, Representatives Steele and Goehner. The House of Representatives will be releasing its capital budget proposal on Monday. To learn more about this project, please click on this handout.

Wenatchee Valley Museum

The Senate capital budget proposes $200,000 to fund community space improvements at the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, including media, lighting, seating, sound upgrades, and possibly an interior wall to help facilitate separated meeting space.

Recently approved 12th District capital projects

Wenatchi Landing Sewer Extension

Wenatchi Landing sewer extension aerial map

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. 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. Please visit this Wenatchee Valley College website for construction updates.

Listen to my recent local radio interviews

Each week during the session, I call our local radio stations to participate in live interviews about the latest happenings in the legislative session. If you’d like to hear my most recent interviews, click on these links for KPQ, KOHO, and KOZI .    

Thank you 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