News Releases

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, announced critical federal funding for North Central Washington priorities in the fiscal year 2008 Omnibus Appropriations bill. 

Due to the threat of Presidential vetoes of America’s domestic spending priorities, Congress combined several appropriations bills into one large “Omnibus bill,” which should pass both houses this week.  The Omnibus package contains critical funding for national needs like transportation, homeland security, education, labor and health.

"This federal support is the seed money that helps our communities grow," said Senator Murray. "I am proud to have helped steer this funding to community-supported projects here at home.  I work everyday to ensure that even though our state's residents are 2,500 miles from D.C., their needs are up-front and center. At a time when domestic and local needs are too often being neglected, these worthy projects are getting the support they deserve."

This spending bill is expected to be cleared by the U.S. House of Representatives tonight and sent to the Senate tomorrow.

Below are the projects included for North Central Washington. They are separated by project type:

Transportation Projects

Icicle Station Project in Leavenworth – $294,000
The City of Leavenworth has reached an agreement with Amtrak and Burlington Northern Santa Fe to provide passenger rail to Leavenworth along the Empire Builder route.  Upon completion, Icicle Station will provide service to Leavenworth from all destinations between Seattle and Chicago, greatly enhancing the city's economic and tourism base. The funding Senator Murray included in the THUD bill for Icicle Station will complete construction of the station platform and improve multimodal access to the facility to provide a seamless transition from local transportation options to the new Amtrak service.

Tonasket Community Center Building Renovation -- $196,000
The Tonasket Community Center is in dire need of renovations to make the building a safe gathering place for the city of Tonasket.  This funding will help the Community Center maintain and expand its current services, including serving as an art and education center, a social gathering place, and an arena for economic development through the community certified kitchen.  This funding will complete basic renovations, such as roof repairs, insulation for the walls and ceiling, and electrical system upgrades to bring the building into compliance with building codes.

Link Transit Coach Replacement Project -- $539,000
This project will replace and upgrade Link Transit's regional commuter transit service fleet.  Link Transit will replace 8 urban transit coaches that have far exceeded their useful life.  The new coaches will be 40 feet long suburban commuter coaches, have reduced emissions and increased accessibility for riders with disabilities.  The vehicles will be utilized on Link Transit's two long distance commuter routes that serve the communities of Leavenworth, Chelan, Cashmere, Dryden, Peshastin, Manson, Entiat, Orondo and Chelan Falls.  These routes are up to 70 miles in length and currently have standing room only on a daily basis.  The additional capacity provided by the new fleet will allow service to continue to grow and meet the needs of rural communities in north central Washington.  The estimated cost per vehicle is $367,188. From 2004-2006, Senator Murray secured $2.1 million for Link Transit's multi-phase coach replacement project.  This additional $550,000 will bring the total federal investment secured by Senator Murray to $2.65 million over the past 5 years.

Interior Projects

Community of Monitor - $590,640
This project will extend Chelan County PUD's existing water system from the Sunnyslope area to the Monitor community.  The secured funding will be used to cover a portion of the construction phase of the project, thereby reducing the rate residents will be required to pay for service.  Once completed, the project will provide safe, clean drinking water to approximately 600 residents, several commercial businesses and fruit warehouses.