News Releases

Senator Murray Delivers Millions for Central Washington Housing, Community Development, and Transportation Projects

Jul 10 2008

As Chairman of critical Senate Committee, Senator Murray includes funding to address domestic violence, homelessness, promote homeownership and support mass transit in Yakima and Central Washington

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included millions for Central Washington community development and transportation projects in the Fiscal Year 2009 Senate Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations bill. As Chairman of the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee, Senator Murray uses her position to invest in community-backed Washington state projects that may not otherwise receive federal support.

"This bill makes much needed investments that promote homeownership, support mass transit and house vulnerable residents in Central Washington," said Senator Murray "With gas prices at record-highs, local governments strapped for cash, and economic growth being threatened, communities need a boost from the federal government. I'm proud to work to return Central Washington residents' federal tax dollars to projects in their own backyard."

The THUD Appropriations bill was approved in Senator Murray's THUD Subcommittee on Tuesday and is expected to be approved by the full Appropriations Committee today. It will then move to the Senate floor.

The following projects were included in the bill for the Central Washington region:

YWCA Domestic Violence Center, Yakima: $1,000,000

This project will increase the number of overall homeless housing units in Yakima in response to the rise in homelessness due to domestic violence.  Funding will also go towards other facility improvements including the addition of handicap accessible ramps and a new exit stairway that will bring the building up to code.

Charities Hispanic Homeownership Public Education Campaign, Yakima County: $800,000

Working in collaboration, the Self Reliance Foundation (SRF) and Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) and Catholic Charities Housing Services of Yakima Valley (CCHS) will conduct a Spanish-language Hispanic homeownership public awareness and education media campaign, focusing on CCHS’s homeownership program. The campaign will also provide critical information on local resources that residents can utilize to mitigate foreclosure as well as to plan for and successfully purchase a home. Project funding will also strengthen and expand CCHS’s homeownership and education services.

City Hall and Community Center Rehabilitation Project, Roslyn: $840,000

This project will provide structural upgrades and other improvements to Roslyn’s 100-year old primary public facility so it can continue to serve the region as a civic, cultural and community center.  The center serves as library, civic center, public meeting hall, home of the community’s public internet lab, senior and youth center, and home to various studio and performance art presentations.

“Roslyn’s Old City Hall and Library is the heart of our community – in addition to serving as the regional library for Upper Kittitas County, this 106-year old building serves as our community hall, civic center and cultural facility," said Roslyn Mayor Jeri Porter. "Saving this historic landmark connects us to Roslyn’s past, and represents an investment in our community’s future."

Grant Transit Vehicle Replacement, Grant County: $448,000

This funding will enable the purchase of two 30’ buses to replace aged vehicles. These new vehicles will allow Grant Transit to continue providing critical regional rural bus services to meet rural and intercity mobility needs, including those of the elderly and disabled, and people needing access to basic services and job centers.

“This acquisition will allow Grant Transit Authority to continue meeting the fixed-route transportation needs for the citizens of Grant County who depend on public transportation to maintain an independent lifestyle," said Kathy Bohnet, Grant Transit Authority Board Chair.

Granger Community Center Construction, Granger: $300,000

This project will fund construction of a new community center to replace the current facility which is over 100 years old.  The center will provide a wide range of services to all community members with a focus on resources for Spanish speaking residents in Granger and the surrounding communities.  Services include ESL classes, HIV/AIDS education, consumer credit counseling, and counseling for victims of domestic violence.

"The Granger Community Service Center will be an important point of reference and service for the farm workers, immigrant communities in the Yakima Valley; it will promote the economic development and recovery for the City of Granger," said Jorge Lobos, Northwest Communities Education Center Board Chairperson.