State Senate Democrats have included $1 million in their tentative budget for new moorage and infrastructure for Tacoma’s Foss Waterway.
That’s short of the $5.4 million the Foss Waterway Development Authority had sought to fund improvements designed to provide a more permanent home of the Tall Ships Festival and for other waterfront activities on the near-downtown waterway.
But FWDA director Don Meyer isn’t complaining.
“It’s always good news when we hear the Legislature is willing to fund our improvements no matter what the amount,” he said.
The state House has no money in its budget for the project, but Randy Lewis, the City of Tacoma’s lobbyist, said he hopes the final budget agreed on by both bodies will include a substantial amount for the Foss improvements.
Those improvements are needed to properly host the Tall Ships event scheduled for the summer of 2008. Beyond the Tall Ships event, Meyer said the new floats, utilities and wharfs will allow the Foss to be the site of other maritime events such as in-water boat shows and Navy warship visits.
The FWDA has already raised about $5.8 million from other sources for the $11.25 million first phase of the project. If the state contribution falls short, the festival will have to rent temporary floats and rig temporary utilities to serve the sailing ships, Meyer said.