News Releases

SOUTH SOUND: Senator Murray Secures Support for Job-Creating Projects in South Sound

Jul 21 2010

SOUTH SOUND: Senator Murray Secures Support for Job-Creating Projects in South Sound

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Subcommittee announced that she has included funding to boost South Sound transportation and economic development in the Fiscal Year 2011 THUD Appropriations bill.  The funding will create construction jobs that support community projects, make critical road safety improvements, and improve access to local transit. 

The key spending bill passed through the THUD Appropriations Subcommittee today, and will now move to the full Appropriations Committee for consideration.

“Especially now, it is critical to steer funding into transportation projects that create jobs and boost local economies in our own backyard in the South Sound,” said Senator Murray. “This funding will go to support community projects like a community center in Tacoma and improvements to the Lacy Senior Center facility, and I’m committed to continue securing investments for these and other local needs.”

The following projects were included in the bill for the South Sound:

9th Street Safety Improvements Project - $700,000

Funding will support improvements to safety and freight mobility that will save lives and reduce injuries and property damage on what Washington State Department of Transportation has classified as a “High Risk Rural Road.”

"By straightening curves and providing other related safety improvements, this project will improve freight mobility, save lives and greatly reduce the potential for serious injuries,” said Pat McCarthy, Pierce County Executive.

Cushman Trail Project, Phase III - $525,000

Funding will support the completion of the third and final phase of the Cushman Trail from 96th Street to Borgen Boulevard in Gig Harbor, WA.

“Extending the trail to Borgen Boulevard will finish the project and bring it to the level of being a recreational attraction for pedestrians and cyclists throughout the region,” said Derek Young, Gig Harbor City Councilmember.

Allen Place Community Center - $1,000,000

Allen Renaissance, Inc. will receive funding that will enable Allen Place Community Center to respond to the needs of this blighted community in three distinct capacities; inspiring a resurgence of commercial activity, providing a physical “destination and gathering place” in the Hilltop Community, and offering free cultural and technical education for underserved children. 

This project supports the parents, teachers, spiritual advisors, social workers, and the families of the Tacoma Hilltop community. It is also important to the youth, employees, neighbors, local hospitals, businesses, developers, professionals and laborers who will benefit from the development and the many residents who are determined to see life return to the Hilltop.  

“The Allen Place Performing Arts and Technology Center is the most significant development in the Hilltop community in many years and begins the journey to restoring this vibrant retail and residential corridor to its full potential. The commitment of Senator Murray to invest in the Hilltop community along with the collaboration of the State of Washington, the City of Tacoma and several community partners will result in a sustainable healthy and economically successful community that will attract residents and businesses from across the state and will produce families and young people that are fully invested in their own well being,” said Cheryl Jones, Executive Director of Allen Renaissance, Inc.

Hire America’s Heroes Veterans Employment Program - $250,000

Hire America’s Heroes will receive funding to support purchase of computer hardware, curriculum development, webmaster support, a contracted open-mentoring platform, and logistical support for the general operation of the program events with Washington’s veteran population.

Hire America’s Heroes Veterans’ Employment Program will address the transition needs of Washington’s veterans who either left the military in junior to mid-grade enlisted paygrades or are serving in those paygrades in a reserve status. Without more robust assistance in this area, this demographic will continue to be confronted with challenges in finding appropriate post-military employment being left either unemployed or underemployed.

“America’s transitioning military service members and veterans are a talented, disciplined, result-oriented group of skilled workers ready to reconnect with the nation’s civilian workforce. HAH, a Washington-based non-profit corporation, is proud to support these men and women as they seek new careers in Washington’s workforce. Our Veteran Employment Program is a demand-side initiative working with human resources professionals and hiring managers in Washington businesses to ensure their connection to veteran job-seekers. Our active duty military and members of the National Guard and Reserves respond without hesitation to their nation’s call to serve. It is a privilege and an honor to welcome these heroes back by connecting them with the best employment opportunities the corporate America can provide,” Marjorie James, President, Hire America’s Heroes.

Intercity Transit Vehicle Replacements - $1,000,000

Intercity Transit will receive funding to support the replacement of hybrid propulsion, heavy-duty transit buses to replace aging equipment and support continuing transit service growth for Thurston County.

This project will replace aging diesel buses to improve fuel efficiency and provide an environmentally friendlier, safer, more comfortable and more attractive public transportation alternative. 

“Intercity Transit is grateful to Senator Murray for recognizing the need to replace our aging fleet of buses,” says Mike Harbour, General Manager of Intercity Transit.  “The cities and communities in Thurston County will see great benefits from this purchase: better service, less congestion on our roads, and less impact on the environment.”

Lacey Senior Center Facility Improvements - $500,000

The City of Lacey will receive funding to support the expansion of an addition to its current senior center.  This additional space will accommodate the doubling of meal service capacity, add critical health services programming areas, increase recreation space, provide for a computer lab for senior use, and allow enhanced adult day care and Service to At Risk Seniors (STARS) programming.

Since opening at a new location in 2003, the Lacey Senior Center has seen demand for services grow at exponential rates. Meals-on-wheels and on-site lunches have surged from 4,992 to 29,101 meals served annually. Demand for social and medical services offered at the center has more than tripled. Many programs and activities have waiting lists due to lack of space at the facility. 

Lacey Mayor Tom Nelson applauded Senator Murray by saying, “Senator Murray's work to secure $700,000 in critical funding for the Lacey Senior Center Expansion Project means our rapidly-growing senior population will be able to access essential services, including Meals-on-Wheels and on-site nutrition programs, health screening, disabled and non-disabled recreational activities, life skills training, and elder care." 

The mayor added, "Lacey has long had one of the fastest growing senior populations in Washington State, and over the next decade an additional 11,000 seniors citizens are expected to live here.  Nearly as many more will likely be added to Lacey’s surrounding unincorporated service areas.  Senator Murray clearly understands that many of the residents in this demographic group will need, and deserve, their community's support."

Pierce Transit Clean-Fuel Bus Replacements - $1,000,000

Pierce Transit will receive funding to support the procurement of clean-fuel buses to replace buses that have exceeded their useful life.

Pierce Transit’s services connect communities with safe, reliable, customer-friendly transit options. These services are vital to our constituents and the economic vitality of our community.

“As a national leader in utilizing clean alternative fuel technology, bus procurement replacement

funds will allow Pierce Transit to continue to provide critical low carbon producing service to our community during the these difficult economic times,” said Lynne Griffith, Pierce Transit Chief Executive Officer.

Tacoma Downtown Streetscape Improvements - $500,000

The City of Tacoma will receive funding to support the development of complete streets, which involve transitioning existing right-of-way for multimodal use, including new bike paths.

Transportation-related improvements are a key component of the City’s multi-faceted plan to enable economic development in the Central Business District, which is even more critically needed given the recent loss of its largest downtown employer. These investments are essential for the City to achieve its vision of transforming the industrially-based local economy into one comprised of diversified professional services.

Tacoma Intermodal Transit Center - $1,000,000

The City of Tacoma will receive funding to support the design and construction of an Intermodal Transit Center and Parking Facility. 

This project will provide commuters with reliable parking and easy access to several existing transit options, which include Sound Transit’s 25th Street light rail station. By locating a new parking facility for commuters outside the downtown core, the City hopes to encourage greater transit use and ensure the highest and best use of limited infill sites in the Central Business District. This project will help to reinforce the City’s efforts to shore up and diversify the downtown economy and reduce the area’s carbon footprint. 

“The Downtown Tacoma Streetscape Improvement Project will assist in revitalizing the Central Business District by creating a more functional, aesthetically pleasing and pedestrian-friendly environment for the enjoyment of our residents and visitors,” said Eric Anderson, City Manager.