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Published on Monday, June 2, 2014

House Capital Budget Committee welcomes Senators to hear about potential new infrastructure investment package

On May 13, a packed committee room heard a series of presentations on financing the State’s stormwater, flood protection, and water supply needs. The House Capital Budget Committee convened the meeting, and greeted a number of Senate leaders on these issues as well.

Sensing a unique opportunity to address issues important to various portions of the State and Legislative leaders, the meeting explored a potential package to fund infrastructure in the three categories mentioned above via a $3 billion bond package. Preliminary options for financing the debt payment on those bonds were also presented.

AWC’s Carl Schroeder along with Theresa Sanders and Rick Romero from the City of Spokane testified on a panel discussing the need for continued and refined State support for stormwater costs facing cities. Theresa and Rick shared their integrated plan to achieve a cleaner Spokane River in a quicker and more cost effective manner. Additionally, Mayor Vickie Raines from Cosmopolis presented on the flood control panel discussing the Chehalis River Basin Flood Strategy.

Legislators were then presented with a spreadsheet with some options to support this bond issuance. Cities will want to pay close attention to this information. The ideas ranged from a series of parcel-related stormwater fees that the State could levy, to various utility fee options, bottled water taxes or redirection of the State portion of the public utility tax. You can view the spreadsheet on page 2 of this document. The Committee hearing can be viewed here, and all presentation materials can be accessed here.

We are very interested in your thoughts regarding the focus of this funding effort, what sorts of projects or activities you think should be included, and your thoughts on these revenue streams or other ideas you might have. Despite the fact that we presented at the hearing, AWC is still actively seeking feedback on these proposals, and we need to know your thoughts on them. In addition, we are assured that there is still plenty of time to contribute thoughts on the appropriate shape and focus of this effort. Please share any thoughts you. have with Dave Catterson.

Categories: Infrastructure