Positive signs from Olympia for Edmonds projects
While state legislators propose and consider billions in state spending on issues ranging from school funding to major transportation projects to affordable housing, city official say several projects important to Edmonds are also being favorably considered.
And although final decisions are far from made, budget proposals from both chambers of the Legislature include funding for Edmonds projects, said Mayor Dave Earling.
Both Senate- and House-proposed transportation budgets include $700,000 for continued design, environmental and permitting work for the Edmonds Street Waterfront Connector, which would provide pan emergency, single-lane structure over the railroad tracks as an alternative to the at-grade rail crossings at Main and Dayton streets.
This approximately $29 million project will provide access for emergency vehicles, as well as ferry off-loading or on-loading with the assistance of traffic control officers when train breakdowns block the two crossings.
Both Senate- and House-proposed capital budgets include $391,000 for substantial repairs to the leaky roof of the Frances Anderson Center, as well as $2.25 million towards the $11 million new Waterfront Center.
To date, up to $5 million has been raised or pledged towards this proposed redevelopment of the existing Edmonds Senior Center. An additional $2 million in donations is in the works. If the state funds and these additional donations come through, Earling said, proponents indicate the project could start up as soon as spring 2018.
While not a city project, the new Waterfront Center is located on city property and would serve the entire community.
Lastly, related to the Waterfront Center project, Earling said the city is proposing a substantial rehabilitation and restoration of the beach at that location, including natural beach features, greatly improved public access and a hand boat launch. The Senate and House capital budgets propose $500,000 towards this approximately $2 million project.
"While these budget proposals are still under consideration by the respective chambers, they are very good signs for our community, and I wish to thank our local legislative delegation for their hard work on these funding requests," Earling said.
"There is still a great deal of work to be done to lock in these state contributions, but we are optimistic and will continue to work with key players in the Legislature to secure this funding for our community."
The funding proposals are still under consideration and budget discussions will occupy a great deal of the Legislators' attention over the remainder of the legislative session, which is scheduled to end on April 23.
However, according to Earling, most insiders predict the Legislature will vote to extend the session well into the late spring or early summer as they grapple with tough revenue and expenditure decisions.