They contain funding for local projects

OLYMPIA — On Sunday, April 28, the Washington State Legislature passed capital and transportation budgets before adjourning for the year.

Rep. Luanne Van Werven, R-Lynden, says the capital budget, House Bill 1102, was a very strong, bipartisan piece of legislation.

“This construction package provides classrooms for K-12 education, higher education, correction facilities and stewardship projects protecting our farmlands, environment and water,” said the 42nd District legislator. “One of the critical projects contained in the budget is in the Fishtrap Creek area to alleviate flooding and erosion on private property, while improving the fish habitat.”

Lynden resident Rich Nymeyer was pleased to find out the Fishtrap Creek project was in the capital budget.

“It was such a relief to get the phone call that funding to fix the erosion of my backyard was approved before more damage occurs,” he said. “I am very grateful to our legislators in the 42nd District for making sure the funding was in this year’s state budget and especially to former Rep. Vince Buys for being the first one to help me with this problem.”

Other projects in Whatcom County in the capital budget are:

  • extension of utilities to East Blaine.
  • mitigating erosion on private property along Fishtrap Creek in Lynden.
  • new bleachers at the Sumas Event Complex and a playground with water park.
  • the Birch Bay Vogt Community Library.
  • the Ferndale wastewater treatment plant.
  • the California Creek Estuary Park development.
  • the Lummi Nation Community Park.
  • two fish barrier removal projects.
  • several environmental cleanup projects in Bellingham.

The transportation budget, House Bill 1160, also passed with strong support from both sides of the aisle.

“Whatcom County can expect to see $9.4 million for the Orchard Street Connector in Bellingham,” said Van Werven. “There is also $1 million for a grade separation project in Blaine, which will help relieve congestion at Peace Portal and Bell roads.”

Funding is continued for other projects already underway or planned, including:

  • State Route 539/Guide Meridian Road.
  • the Interstate 5 northbound on-ramp at Bakerview Road.
  • the Thornton Road overpass for Ferndale.

Both the capital and transportation budgets go to the governor’s desk for his signature.