Wenatchee Valley Chamber Opposes Gov. Inslee’s Transportation Plan
The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce is coming out against the Governor Jay Inslee's transportation budget for the next two years.
Inslee's plan proposes to delay several major highway projects across the state, including improvements in the North Wenatchee Area to SR 28 and SR 285.
Rosa Pulido with the Chamber says the projects are funded, with designated timelines, and are already under construction in some cases.
"The governor's proposal will basically pause all construction, and then just, kind of, figure out a different way to reroute those dollars into other projects," said Pulido.
An $18 million project to relieve congestion on SR 285 in North Wenatchee is scheduled to be built out this year, but would likely be delayed by Inslee’s plan.
More than $11 million of the project’s funding would be used during its construction phase in 2023.
The Chamber is supporting a letter from the Association of Washington Business (AWB) which opposes the Governor’s transportation budget.
AWB is collecting public signatures for the letter, which points out that most of the projects that would be delayed were agreed upon and funded in the Connecting Washington revenue package adopted in 2015.
It also expresses concern that the governor’s budget proposes to shift funding to accelerate several active transportation projects, while at the same time delaying important road projects that are already funded.
Pulido says a number of groups representing areas around the state are raising concern about the governor's proposal.
"Us, along with Whatcom County, Union Gap, Easton and just a few other communities were going to be affected by this," said Pulido. "
In addition, the letter claims Inslee's proposal would move funding to concentrate on fish passage barriers, despite full funding of the State’s fish culvert replacement obligation in the Move Ahead Washington package, and despite available federal funds specifically awarded for fish culvert replacement