Five local projects will benefit from state supplemental capital budget

The 2020 Legislative session ended late Thursday, with the passage of a supplemental capital budget that included funds for local projects, including $800,000 toward construction of a new facility for Learning to Grow child care in Elma.

According to 24th District State Rep. Steve Tharinger’s office, the supplemental capital budget provided an additional $4.2 million to continue funding the Department of Commerce’s list of early learning facilities funded late last year — YMCA of Grays Harbor got one of those grants.

The Learning to Grow facility in Elma applied for a grant in that cycle and was just outside those awarded funds. The additional $4.2 million in the capital budget will allow Commerce to continue funding down the list of last year’s applicants, and will award Learning to Grow $800,000 to go toward the building of a new, larger facility, as described in detail in a Daily World story March 2,

Other supplemental capital budget items

Satsop Business Park in Elma, $155,000 in Department of Commerce local and community project funds: These funds would go toward continuing efforts of the Port of Grays Harbor, Grays Harbor PUD and the Bonneville Power Administration to increase the power capacity at the Satsop Business Park, said Port Executive Director Gary Nelson.

The business park, home to and call center and a large cannabis growing facility, among many others, is near its power capacity. The Port and PUD have been working with the BPA to link an existing BPA substation nearby to double the park’s capacity, to accommodate future growth and power demands in the future.

“This just helps us keep the ball rolling on planning and engineering,” he said.

Seaport Landing in Aberdeen, $55,000, Department of Commerce local and community project funds: Grays Harbor Historical Seaport Executive Director Brandi Bednarik said the money is earmarked for a commercial kitchen for the Seaport’s events center. “We have started to rent out that space so a kitchen would work for both our students going through the Seafarer Collective and the public,” she said.

Chehalis Basin Strategy Keys Road protection project, $450,000 in Department of Ecology funds: According to the state budget website, a portion of the funds will be used to conduct an independent third party assessment of the financial impacts on landowners whose property may become the site of a flood retention structure. Part will be used to match equal funding from the Office of the Chehalis Basin for the project on the lower Satsop River.

“We are involved in exploring how to reduce flood damages in the basin communities while restoring habitat,” said Ecology spokesman Curt Hart. He said the funds can be used to look into the many issues surrounding the plan, including maintaining and protecting the infrastructure of Keys Road, looking at channel migration and others. “I think this takes us to the next step,” he said.

The Hungry Whale site in Westport gets $1.2 million in Department of Ecology 2020 remedial action grants. The service station at the corner of Montesano Avenue and Wilson Street has ongoing soil contamination issues. Since 1990, when the soil was sampled, Ecology and the Port of Grays Harbor have been working toward cleanup efforts when funding became available.