Spokane Lawmakers Applaud Funds for Local Construction Projects

OLYMPIA – Spokane is getting a big boost for local construction projects from the state capital budget which passed the Legislature today. In it are projects championed by Reps. Marcus Riccelli and Timm Ormsby, and Sen. Andy Billig, who represent the 3rd District in Spokane. The projects include shelters for teens, the Spokane Sportsplex, art facilities, and a new nature preserve along the Little Spokane River near Mead.

Administrators of the current Crosswalk Teen Shelter in downtown want to move the facility near Spokane Community College and expand their services to include an intensive education and employment program. To help facilitate the project, the Capital Budget includes $1.5 million in funding, which matches last year’s $1.5 million Capital Budget allocation, bringing the total to $3 million of this $6.225 million project.

“The funding for Crosswalk Teen Shelter is a necessary and important project to ensure those young clients have a better, safer facility. For our young folks living on the street, Crosswalk is a warm, safe place to lay their head and I’m proud to support this project,” said Ormsby.

Another project that is moving forward thanks to $1.5 million from the Capital Budget is the creation of the Waikiki Springs Nature Preserve. With the state funds, The Inland Northwest Land Conservancy (INLC) will be able to work with the Spokane Tribe to conserve 95 acres of undeveloped floodplain and over 1,700 feet of shoreline along the Little Spokane River north of Spokane for salmon reintroduction activities, habitat protection, and public access. According to the INLC, this is a lynchpin property for maintaining the ecology of the Little Spokane River in the future.

“Protecting the environment and providing a future that includes this natural habitat has been a goal of mine for the last few years and I am happy we finally have provided funds to help contribute to this project. This will help introduce steelhead and chinook to the area and give Eastern Washington a new habitat to learn from, bringing us all a little closer to nature,” said Riccelli.

Also included in the state Capital Budget for the area is $200,000 for the Spokane Sportsplex, $25,000 for the Five Mile Roundabout Art Project, and $20 million for Phase One of the Fine and Applied Arts Building at Spokane Falls Community College.

“The Capital Budget invests in Spokane’s quality of life and infrastructure,” Billig said. “These investments will have a positive impact in all communities and help people and businesses across the economic spectrum.”