Governor Gregoire is again recommending to the State Legislature to NOT spend construction money on the Yelm Bypass. Same as last year. The battle for transportation funds promises to be intense in 2009.
This Seattle Blog link mentions the Yelm Loop project briefly:
Note: In the aforementioned Seattle Blog, this is called “good news,” which likely represents interests in Seattle, based on the context of the blog’s stories.
Looking at this blog’s comments another way, “less money to Yelm= more money for Seattle=good”.
The lobbyists will fight for every last dollar.
And, Yelm’s budget continues to employ a lobbyist to keep Bypass funding alive in the Legislature.
Rep. Tom Campbell obviously sees the writing on the wall about getting nay State monies in 2009 and has added to his focus requesting funds from the Obama stimulus package for the Bypass, covered here recently.
You can rest-assured that Yelm Bypass funding will be dealt a huge blow from I-5 being closed again in Lewis County, the 2nd time in 13 months. This writer sees the State Legislature acting this year to fund fixing I-5 in this area, which will put a further challenge on any possibility to appropriate State money for a Yelm Bypass.
Quoting the NVN of Januarry 9th:
“Yelm Mayor Ron Harding said he hopes the stimulus package will include the loop project, but that he isnt counting solely on the funding.
‘Were really just pushing the loop,’ Harding said. ‘Well still be pressing for it on the general budget.’
‘We dont want to give up any of that funding.’
Currently, the city has lobbyists at the capital vying for funding.
The project has funding in the state budget through 2009, and Harding is fighting to keep the project in the budget.
Harding also meets with local representatives to discuss the importance of the project.
‘Its a constant back and forth,’ Harding said. ‘Were constantly having to justify.’
‘Im optimistic we can get the project included (in the budget) again.’
The $10.5 million left over from right-of-way acquisition, which was set aside for future project costs, was lost due to state budget cuts.
Harding said if they could get that funding back, the project could start construction on the first phase.
‘Phase one could be completed this year.’