Proposed grant program would fund water infrastructure projects

Print Article

OLYMPIA — A newly proposed water infrastructure program would evaluate and rank proposed water-related projects.

Senate Bill 5136 would create a water infrastructure program for priority projects and fund them through a competitive grant process. The goal of the bill, which is sponsored by District 15 Sen. Jim Honeyford, R-Sunnyside, is to create a streamlined process for evaluating the necessary water infrastructure projects and fund them.

The bill proposes the legislature spend $500 million biennially for a total of up to $5 billion.  Concerns surrounding the bill were where the funding would come from and whether there is room in the capital budget to fund the program this year.

The project areas are increasing water availability for beneficial out-of-stream water use, improving fish passage and reducing storm water pollution specifically from existing developments. The project also targets reducing the risk of flooding, protecting against flood damage and post-flood restoration.

Moses Lake farmer and member of the Washington State Potato Commission, Heath Gimmestad, testified in support of the bill at the Senate Agriculture, Water, Natural Resources and Parks Committee on Tuesday.

“Surface water is cleaner, renewable and less expensive,” said Gimmestad in comparison to deep well systems.

Moses Lake is currently on a deep well system, which Gimmestad noted could receive funding for an update to the system if the bill is passed.

Under the bill a government agency must sponsor a project and then apply to the water infrastructure program. After all applications are collected the department will give them to the Office of Columbia River, the Office of Chehalis Basin, or the Fish Passage Barrier Removal Board, whatever entity is most appropriate. These entities would then evaluate the applications and create a ranked list of projects, which would then be sent to the appropriate committee in the legislature.

The sponsoring entity is required to match at least 25 percent of the funding they are asking for and the larger the percentage matched the high priority the proposal will receive. Tom Davis, director of government relations at the Washington State Farm Bureau, testified in support of the bill.

“To us as we look at this bill, it really is about legacy,” said Davis.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Level III sex offender moving to Moses Lake

September 17, 2019 at 1:19 pm | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE - A convicted sexual offender considered at high risk to reoffend is moving into a Moses Lake home, according to the Grant County Sheriff’s Office. Kevin D. Beler, 51, will be living i...

Comments

Read More

Moses Lake woman hospitalized, reportedly drove too fast for rainy conditions

September 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald SNOQUALMIE PASS — A Moses Lake woman was sent to the hospital Sunday night for injuries stemming from a collision caused by traveling too fast for conditions, according to the Washington State Patrol...

Comments

Read More

Grant PUD finances in strong position

September 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald EPHRATA — What to do with extra cash the Grant County PUD has in excess of its needs will be discussed by commissioners over the next few meetings. The PUD sets up targets as a benchmark to see how ...

Comments

Read More

‘Chasing Paper’ opens at museum

September 16, 2019 at 5:00 am | Columbia Basin Herald MOSES LAKE — Wenatchee artist Chad Yenney said his interest in collage reignited while doing some crafts with his kids. The opening reception was Friday for Yenney’s “Chasing Paper” exhibit at the Mo...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(509) 765-4561
PO Box 910
Moses Lake, WA 98837

©2019 Columbia Basin Herald Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X