The Politics Blog

The Politics Blog » Capitol Campus » Senate’s capital budget has $1M for Thurston Food Bank, $816K for Oly Performing Arts Center; GOP proposal goes lighter on environment projects

The Politics Blog

NOTICE: The Politics Blog has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved The Politics Blog.
Visit the new section.

Senate’s capital budget has $1M for Thurston Food Bank, $816K for Oly Performing Arts Center; GOP proposal goes lighter on environment projects

Post by Brad Shannon / The Olympian on April 9, 2013 at 4:40 pm | No Comments »
April 9, 2013 5:31 pm
Isaac McKenzie Sullivan, warehouse manager for the Thurston County Food Bank, moves out one of several pallets holding 21,000 eggs which were donated and delivered by the Roy-based Wilcox Farms in this March 2013 photo by Olympian staffer Steve Bloom.
Isaac McKenzie Sullivan, warehouse manager for the Thurston County Food Bank, moves out one of several pallets holding 21,000 eggs which were donated and delivered by the Roy-based Wilcox Farms in this March 2013 photo by Olympian staffer Steve Bloom.

The Thurston County Food Bank is earmarked for $1 million in the state Senate Majority Coalition’s proposed capital budget. The money would help pay for a warehouse purchase in Tumwater, refrigeration equipment in the new storage space and also a new roof for the food bank’s distribution center in downtown Olympia.

The $3.6 billion Senate proposal authored by Republican Sen. Jim Honeyford of Sunnyside went public Tuesday, and the House is expected to follow suit at noon Wednesday with its capital-construction plan.

The Senate proposal has money for other South Sound projects of note:

He said the additional state money brings the bank more than half-way to its goal. The money is to be used for its purchase of a 5-year-old warehouse near South Puget Sound Community College on Mottman Road, as well as to equip it. The downtown food-distribution center, which was built in 1942 and also functions as a warehouse, would remain in the agency’s hands but as a place to serve clients.

Coit said the new warehouse still has a tenant but the food bank hopes “to move in soon.’’

He said 22nd district lawmakers including Democratic Reps. Chris Reykdal and Sam Hunt and Sen. Karen Fraser had been strong advocates for the project – along with House Republican Leader Richard DeBolt of Chehalis.

Environmentalists are sure to be disappointed by the budget. It has $39.6 million for the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program’s prioritized list of projects, and the Environmental Priorities Coalition had sought $90 million.

The lower amount means no money for purchases land on Olympia’s isthmus known as the Larida Passage parcel. The nonprofit Capitol Park Foundation, city and county have pledged a total of $2.7 million for the land acquisition in the first phase of a foundation proposal to turn the isthmus into a public-owned Capitol Olympic Vista Park. The Larida piece of the project may cost $3 million.

In the second phase, the group also wants to buy the vacant high-rise structure on the isthmus and tear it down.

“We would hope in the final budget that emerges that there are resources that let us go forward,” said Jerry Reilly, chairman of the park foundation. “The community has put in funds, the city has put in funds and the county has put in funds (for the initial land purchase). This is essentially the state’s front lawn.”

Reilly said the city pledged $1.7 million, the county pledged $600,000 from its conservation futures grant and the foundation pledged to raise $400,000 more for the first phase. He said that if the WWRP list is funded at the $100 million level, the Larida Passage project could receive as much as $1 million. If the Legislature puts $65 million into WWRP, the city would get $145,000 for Larida Passage.

The isthmus site was the scene of a hard-fought city zoning effort that first allowed a high rise and later led to a change of heart. Sen. Fraser had led efforts in the Legislature to fight against the city zoning, which she had argued would allow further obstructions in the view-shed that runs from the Capitol Campus to Budd Inlet.

*
The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.