Yes, another piece of good news from the state Legislature for Edmonds. The House and Senate have passed the 2017-2019 Transportation Budget. And, as we have let you know, that budget includes $700,000 to continue work on the Waterfront Access Project.
We have another fabulous “win,” which we were hesitant to say much about until we were sure of the outcome. Both the Senate and House Transportation budgets include $1 million to begin serious work on the Highway 99 Corridor Sub-Area Plan, which we have been finalizing this past year.
The million dollars is a portion of the $10 million which is part of the State Transportation Plan approved a couple of years back by the Legislature. All of the money had to be programmed over 16 years for cash flow purposes. We were programmed to receive our $10 million IN 2021!
This early funding will assist us to further design “the look” of the corridor as well as develop a detailed plan and a prioritized list of safety and needed transportation improvements. The funds may be used to leverage further funding for Federal and State improvements.
Ultimately we want to improve the corridor with zoning changes that will help attract development opportunity for additional businesses and office space, as well as affordable housing and “people places,” to create a new neighborhood.
With this seed money we are actually able to move forward on long needed improvements which have been talked about for decades. We have many fine businesses on Highway 99 including the International District, automobile dealerships and the Health District. This will over time (and it will take years) add a long-needed richness to Edmonds.
Obtaining the funds early is a very important step made possible by several people putting their “shoulder to the wheel,” chief among them are Sen. Marko Liias and Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self who are on their respective transportation committees. We also need to acknowledge Sen. Curtis King and Rep. Judy Clibborn, chairs of their respective transportation committees for understanding the importance of this project and moving the dollars forward. Our Olympia lobbyist, Jennifer Ziegler, did a terrific job behind the scenes coordinating the several visits the staff and I made to the Capital.
While we’ve had terrific success with our transportation projects, we have several projects, which will come under the purview of the General Fund, yet to be decided. They include $400,000 for the Anderson Center Roof, two $500,000 projects related to our parks, and $2.25 million for the Senior/Community Center project.
The staff and I will continue contact with our legislative delegation so that we can bring these projects to fruition. Busy times… stay tuned…
— By Dave Earling, Edmonds Mayor