A historic 105-day Washington legislative session, that was primarily conducted via Zoom, ended on Sunday, April 25. In a session defined by a response to a pandemic and demands for racial justice, the Legislature unanimously approved a bipartisan 2021-23 capital budget. The capital budget – which funds construction projects across the state – includes funding for significant projects in Ridgefield. The success in obtaining the funding was due in large part to the passion and hard work from local legislators, Sen. Ann Rivers and Representatives Brandon Vick and Larry Hoff.
Ridgefield received $258,000 to design a full-service YMCA across Pioneer Street from the Rosauers commercial complex. The project – a partnership between the city, a private developer and the YMCA – will begin construction in 2022. In addition, the city received $335,000 to create a pedestrian screen on the I-5 overpass that will create a safer crossing as well as displaying artwork on the screen to represent Ridgefield’s special history, thanks to $50,000 in arts funding from the Cowlitz Tribe.
Clark College at Boschma Farms will receive more than $50 million to begin construction on their first phase – a 70,000-square-foot building to house general education, Running Start students and advanced manufacturing classes. The Ridgefield School District also received $339,000 to support educational offerings at its downtown Early Learning Center.
The Port of Ridgefield received $2 million for the Wisdom Ridge Business Park and $1.3 million for the IT3 Discovery Center, a hands-on center for innovation and education to foster technological advancement.
“Thank you to our dedicated legislators for their tireless work to obtain funding for these projects,” said Ridgefield Mayor Don Stose. “I am excited for these great projects – and many more – to serve our community.”