Capital budget invests in Whatcom County with funding for flood response, smelter and local projects

OLYMPIA – Today, the final capital budget proposal was voted off the House floor. This state construction budget makes major investments statewide and includes millions of dollars in investments for projects in Whatcom County.   

The capital budget makes considerable investments for flood recovery and future flood risk reduction including $2 million to Whatcom County to make near term investments in flood risk mitigation, $2 million to repair and prepare schools in the Nooksack Valley School District, and $2 million for the Station 34 replacement which serves Marietta and Lummi Peninsula and whose function can be critical in responding to floods.  

“This funding on flood risk is a down payment on the work to come and is just one piece of the puzzle,” said Shewmake. “In conversation with local leaders and our international partners, it’s clear we need a long-term solution. This funding lays the groundwork for a long-term plan to mitigate the worst impacts of flooding.” 

The capital budget also invests $10 million for renovation of the Intalco aluminum smelter to increase energy efficiency and reduce pollution.  

“Renovating the smelter is not just an investment in a building,” said Rule. “It’s investment in our workers and families that have been the engine of our economy for many years in the past and hopefully many more into the future.”  

Additionally, there are millions of dollars of investments in local projects that community partners requested of Shewmake and Rule: 

  • $1.5 million for the Ferndale Civic and Community Campus 
  • $1.5 million for the Maplewood Enhanced Services Facility 
  • $1.25 million for the Lummi Nation Healing Wellness Center 
  • $773,000 for Laurel Forest Childcare Center in Bellingham 
  • $500,000 for an East Blaine Water Pump Station 
  • $319,000 for Howard Bowen Memorial Events Complex in Sumas 
  • $300,000 to build the missing link of the Jim Kaemingk Sr. Trail in Lynden 
  • $250,000 for Community to Community’s Ejido Cooperative Farm in Everson 
  • $225,000 for broadband in Point Roberts 
  • $225,000 for Eagle Haven Cottage Village 

“These investments are a reflection of the work of the people of Whatcom County” said Shewmake. “It’s our job to get funding for our community but we can’t do it alone. Thank you to everyone who came to us with ideas. There is more work to do, but this budget, like last year’s, is a huge investment in our community and will build a better future for us all.”  

The capital budget funds construction and public works projects. This year’s capital budget (SB 5651) is a supplement to the biennial spending plan adopted last year by lawmakers. It will now be considered for a final vote in the Senate and must pass by Thursday, March 10. More information about the capital budget can be found at, while projects can be mapped at the county or legislative district level at