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City hands wish list to legislators

Road, water, wastewater infrastructure projects

In a wish list approved by the Shelton City Council on Tuesday, the council asked state 35th District Reps. Travis Couture and Dan Griffey, both R-Allyn, and state Sen. Drew MacEwen, R-Shelton, to pursue $3 million for a multimodal path through Shelton on the former Simpson Timber Railroad right of way and $2 million for a homeless mitigation site during the legislature session that starts in January.

The council unanimously gave preliminary approval to the list at its Nov. 21 meeting. The list will be given to the three legislators so they have time to address the items before the legislative session begins next month, City Manager Mark Ziegler said at that meeting. The council spent two minutes on the list Tuesday night before unanimously approving it.

The Shelton-Mason County Chamber of Commerce hosts a legislative send-off for MacEwen, Griffey and Couture on Friday morning at the Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club. Doors open at 7:30 a.m. for breakfast, and the program concludes at 9 a.m. The cost is $25 for chamber and members of the Economic Development Council of Mason County, and $35 for nonmembers. For reservations, call 360-426-2021 or email [email protected].

At the Nov. 21 meeting, Ziegler pointed out that the Legislature is embarking on a short session with limited capital funds available, and it's clear most of the city's requests will not be acted upon, "but it's important to recognize our needs and to continue to communicate those with these important decision makers in Olympia."

In October, the Shelton City Council members met with the three local legislators to talk about the city's needs and opportunities, and then took them for a tour.

The city wants to construct a 1.5-mile multimodal path through Shelton from Kneeland Park to U.S. Highway 101 using the former Simpson rail right-of-way, which Simpson donated to the city. Funding could complete the design and pave a 14-foot-wide path with seating, lighting and amenities. According to the city's preliminary list, the new path "will provide nonmotorized transportation alternatives for all ages, provide a safe route to school for children and encourage positive health outcomes."

A smaller amount of state money could pay for the initial design of the project, Ziegler said.

In the preliminary wish list ,requests also include:

■ $2 million for a homeless mitigation site "to house the homeless population, and potential future supportive services including addiction and mental health counseling services."

■ $4 million for intersection improvements on Wallace Kneeland Boulevard at 13th Street and Shelton Springs Road.

■ $3.1 million for a new water reservoir next to the current reservoir on Angelside to serve water to 1,000 proposed homes and a new school site.

■ $5 million for a second reservoir in Upper Mountainview to serve water to new industrial users, the Port of Shelton and 3,000 proposed homes in the north end of Shelton.

■ $17.2 million for satellite wastewater treatment plant upgrades.

The list regarding "general policy issues" includes allowing the city's Transportation Benefit District to continue beyond its 10-year limitation; supporting efforts to maintain long-term funding sources for public works infrastructure projects; and opposing unfunded and under-funded mandates while supporting local control over regulatory policy issues.

Some of the requests for state money are not new, with the city making requests to help pay for such ongoing needs as the homeless and mitigation site, affordable housing initiatives and the Transportation Benefit District tax collection that is sunsetting in 2026, Ziegler said.

"Our infrastructure needs are great as we've talked about through our water and sewer comprehensive plan," Ziegler said. Those discussions will continue on to the 2025 legislative session, he added.

Author Bio

Gordon Weeks, Reporter

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald


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