Senator Murray Delivers Hundreds of Millions for King County in 2009 Federal Spending Bill

Feb 23 2009

Funding will preserve and create local jobs, bolster transportation goals, create affordable housing, train workers, and invest in cutting edge health care and science projects

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) announced that she has included millions in funding for projects in King County in yearly spending legislation. The funding is included in the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill, which provides funding for most federal government programs and targeted community projects for Fiscal Year 2009. The Omnibus bill is separate from the Economic Recovery bill Passed by Congress and enacted by Barack Obama last week. As a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Senator Murray helped to include millions for important projects and programs in King County in the Omnibus bill. 

"We are investing in Main Street again," said Senator Murray. "In the face of a deepening recession, this bill puts federal funding back into our communities where it can create and save jobs and address local needs. This funding will bolster Sound Transit projects, support affordable housing efforts, train workers with new skills and invest in support cutting-edge medical research. I'm proud to work to return King County taxpayer dollars to projects in their own backyard."

The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill will fund projects for the remainder of the 2009 Fiscal Year which runs until September 30th, 2009. The federal government is currently operating under spending levels passed for Fiscal Year 2008 because President Bush refused to sign many 2009 spending bills last year and Congress was forced to pass a continuing resolution. The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill was unveiled today and is expected to be passed by Congress and signed by President Obama in the coming weeks.

Transportation Projects

As Chairman of the Senate Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee, Senator Murray included the following transportation projects in the bill in the King County region:

Sound Transit, Central Link Light Rail – University Link, Seattle: $100,000,000
This 3.1 mile light rail extension from downtown Seattle north to the University of Washington will serve the most densely developed residential and employment area in the State of Washington.

Sound Transit, Central Link Light Rail – Initial Segment, Seattle: $25,962,062
Construction is 85 percent complete on this 14-mile regional light rail system that will serve downtown Seattle, the Duwamish industrial area south of downtown, Safeco Field and Seahawks stadium, the residential neighborhoods in Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley, and the cities of Tukwila and SeaTac with a direct connection to the Sea-Tac International Airport. This funding represents the final phase of the project.

Bellevue-Redmond Bus Rapid Transit RapidRide, King County: $10,952,330
This funding will enable King County Metro to begin construction of a 9.25-mile long street-running Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line connecting downtown Bellevue, Crossroads Mall, the Overlake urban center, and downtown Redmond. The corridor already features substantial existing transit investment including three regional transit transfer centers, and the Bellevue - Redmond BRT project is intended to complement these facilities. The scope of work includes 12 new stations, real-time bus arrival information, signal prioritization, and 18 low-floor hybrid vehicles. Only $10,950,000 was included in the president's FY2009 budget proposal.

“This funding will support major transit service improvements in the busy Bellevue-Redmond corridor connecting the two rapidly growing downtown areas on the eastside via Crossroads and Overlake, home to Microsoft and other high-tec employers," said King County Executive Ron Sims.  "When this new RapidRide corridor is launched in 2011, customers will see frequent 10 to 15 minute bus service, enhanced transit stations and shelters along with new European-style hybrid buses that will make travel even faster and more convenient."

Vashon Island Passenger Ferry, King County: $950,000
The project would enable the continuation of passenger only ferry service between Downtown Seattle and Vashon Island. The Vashon Island passenger only ferry is the only direct mode of transportation for local residents between Vashon Island and Downtown Seattle. This funding will be used to facilitate the continuation of this service by either purchasing a high-speed passenger only ferry vessel, or leasing or retrofitting one of the existing vessels and improving the docking facilities.

"This funding will allow the King County Ferry District to make the key improvements necessary to maintain passenger only ferry service linking Vashon Island and downtown Seattle," said ferry district board member Dow Constantine.  "This ferry service, providing the only direct mode of travel between the island and downtown, will ensure that the future transportation needs of residents are met while benefiting the overall local economy of Vashon.”

Cascade Supportive Housing Facility Construction Project, Seattle: $712,500
This project will provide 83 studio apartments for chronically homeless and mentally ill people. At least one-third of the residents will be homeless veterans. This project will include services for residents, including the participation of the Department of Veterans Affairs. It is a key component of King County’s Ten-Year Plan to End Homelessness.

“To end homelessness, we must find programs that work in reaching those who are the hardest to reach,” said Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. “Evaluations by the University of Washington show that the Housing First model implemented by Downtown Emergency Service Center works. Instead of letting people fall through the cracks, DESC’s Cascade Supportive Housing will help homeless, mentally ill people, including homeless vets, to stabilize and rebuild lives while taking a costly strain off our social safety net.”

South Pacific South Bus Rapid Transit, King County: $281,520
This funding will go to complete implementation of the Pacific Highway South RapidRide project which runs from Sound Transit's Light Rail Station at 154th Street (north of SeaTac Airport) to the Federal Way Transit Center (near SeaTac Mall), a distance of 10.35 miles. The funding will increase efficient bus service to a rapidly growing area of King County.

King County Housing Authority (KCHA) Greenbridge HOPE IV, King County: $950,000
The Greenbridge HOPE VI project is redeveloping dilapidated public housing to create a mixed-income, pedestrian-oriented community containing housing, parks, open space and community services and facilities. Greenbridge will provide up to 1,000 units of rental and for-sale housing to meet a wide variety of needs, including low-income and affordable units. Once finished, there will be a library, renovated community center, youth and family facilities, Head Start and child care, food bank, career development center, community gathering spaces and neighborhood-scale retail to meet everyday needs.

“Greenbridge is an award-winning master-planned neighborhood that promotes a child and family friendly environment, low-impact, green building practices, and investment in the larger White Center community," said Stephen Norman, Executive Director of the King County Housing Authority. "The parks, trails and playgrounds are sited to allow parents to keep a watchful eye on their children while playing on a swingset or walking to school. The large amount of permeable surface that the parks and open spaces provide improves drainage at the site and eliminates the need for each housing unit to have its own lawn. These public places serve as gathering spaces, enhancing the sense of community and adding to the overall health and livability of the entire neighborhood.”

Greenbridge Early Learning Center, Seattle: $950,000
This project will fund the expansion of Head Start to help the almost 1500 local children that qualify for the program, but are unable to be served due to lack of capacity. The learning center will provide for sustainable, integrated and accessible child development and family support services that are reflective of the diverse culture, strengths and needs of White Center families.

“The Greenbridge Early Learning Center and its programs will serve as a platform for a new kind of partnership dedicated to bringing quality early learning services to children at highest risk of school failure and is compelling because we know that when children in a high poverty community have access to quality early learning experiences, the number of children who enter school ready to learn and succeed dramatically increases,” said Monte Bridges, Superintendent, Puget Sound Educational Service District.

Burien Heights Residences and Veterans Housing, Burien: $213,750
This project will provide permanent, affordable housing and on-site mental health treatment and case management for 23 adults living with serious mental illness. Three of the 23 beds among the 15 units will be specifically set aside of veterans. Highline West Seattle Mental Health’s clinical staff will work with each client to identify the supports needed to ensure their success in the community.

"We are so grateful to have received critical federal support toward the construction of housing in Burien," stated Dr. David Johnson, Highline West Seattle Mental Health’s CEO. “These funds will allow us to provide permanent, affordable housing and mental health treatment to people who are working courageously to surmount the challenges of serious and persistent mental illness.”

Eritrean Community Center Improvement Project, Seattle: $285,000
The Eritrean Association of Greater Seattle is seeking to expand their current Community Center facility with a 4,800 sq. ft. addition in order to house the many community programs and to significantly strengthen their capacity to serve more than 5,000 members. Funding would go towards replacing their current, structurally unsafe, program space and upgrade their Community Center kitchen to commercial standards.

"With the new expansion of the Community Center we will have the ability to provide additional services that are needed by youth, families, and seniors," said Workinesh Tianen, Eritrean Association Board Member. "The education and cultural classes for the youth are so important in helping them stay away from gangs and become productive citizens."

A-B Street Corridor Connector Project, City of Auburn: $1,900,000
This project will connect a major north-south corridor by constructing a 1.47 mile missing link that is part of the 3.5 mile A-B Street corridor. The A-B Corridor Connector is a job-generating new arterial corridor vital to the economic health of the City. The development along this future corridor is expected to account for 70 percent of Auburn’s future job growth, including 5,000 new jobs.  The corridor will also provide a northerly emergency access point for traffic entering and leaving the city center.

“The A/B Corridor is one of the few opportunities identified in the last decade for an additional north-south corridor in the Valley Cities area for both freight and commuters," said Peter Lewis, Mayor of Auburn. "Senator Murray’s longstanding support for this project has enabled the City to successfully address the economic and traffic needs of its citizens.”

Welcome Center Intermodal Transit Facility, Enumclaw: $1,425,000
This project will provide parking for a minimum of 100 vehicles and create a transit facility for shuttle services to Mt. Rainier National Park, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and other points of interest along State Route 410. This facility will address the current and growing congestion on the Chinook Scenic Byway and within the Mt. Rainier National Park.

"The Welcome Center transit facility provides a natural transition point between the urbanized areas and the much used and valuable natural resources found in Mt. Rainier National Park and other adjacent federal lands,” said Emunclaw Mayor John Wise.

Washington State Ferries: $5,950,000
This funding will go toward Washington state ferries and is from the federal Ferry Boats and Ferry Terminal Facilities Program.

King County Hybrid Bus Program, King County: $237,500
The acquisition of the hybrid buses will allow King County Metro to provide additional transit service in King County and reduce green house gas emissions.  Since first acquiring hybrid buses in 2004, Metro has seen a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to its conventional diesel fleet. The hybrids are also proving to be 40 percent more reliable than their articulated diesel counterparts in terms of mechanical breakdowns.

Aurora Corridor Improvement Project, Shoreline: $475,000
The three miles of Aurora Avenue N in Shoreline functions as Shoreline’s downtown area providing a variety of services and employment. This project will provide significant redevelopment of the public right-of-way and will facilitate and stimulate the long-term growth opportunities for new and expanding business.  With 40,000 vehicles traveling through the Aurora corridor daily, it is a regional north-south corridor for individuals traveling to/from Seattle and other regional destinations.  Additionally, 5,000 transit users board or de-board buses in this corridor, and this project will provide them with safer facilities and improved services.

Health Care Projects

SCCA Proton Therapy Center, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance - $951,000 -- Seattle, WA
The SCCA and its parent institutions, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University of Washington Medical Center and Children’s Hospital Regional Medical Center will use these funds to help develop and manage its own stand-alone, state-of-the-art, and high-capacity cancer treatment center, based on proton beam therapy.

Community Health Education and Simulation Center, Northwest Hospital and Medical Center - $951,000 -- Seattle, WA
The Community Health Education and Simulation Center (CHESC) will serve as a hands-on training center using state-of-the-art equipment and simulation mannequins for practice allowing staff to learn medical procedures and life-saving techniques. Among other things, the center will provide community members with training for Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) use.  Health care providers, fire stations, ambulance companies, and EMTs will be able to participate in continuing education programs at the center.

Highline-West Seattle Mental Health (NAVOS) - $571,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will go to help provide services at the Highline-West Seattle Mental Health center whose mission is to serve low income clients in south King County. The center is critical to meeting the health care needs of thousands of traditionally underserved adults and families who live in that part of the region. Development of the new center will maintain 100 existing health care jobs in the community and also support additional job growth at the new, expanded facility. In addition, hundreds of construction and construction related jobs will be created or sustained during the construction of this facility.

Allen Institute for Brain Science - $476,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will be used by the Allen Institute for Brain Science to support the creation of a three-dimensional map detailing genes at work in the human brain. This critical work will provide the key links between brain function in normal and in disease states and, most importantly, the genes that control them. Data and tools for using that data will be made freely available to researchers, physicians and the public. 

Seattle Biomedical Research Institute - $238,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will be used by the Seattle Biomedical research Institute for essential tools and technologies required to speed progress towards the discovery of TB drugs. TB remains one of the world’s deadliest infectious diseases and is rated a top health threat by the CDC.

Northwest Kidney Centers - $476,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will be used by the new Seattle Kidney Center to provide a new home for the exceptionally frail and debilitated dialysis patients in King County within the Center’s special care unit.  The Center will also provide training and education for those who rely on home dialysis in the state.

University of Washington, Bothell Nursing Consortium - $333,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will go toward the creation of a consortium of associate degree nursing programs at the University of Washington in Bothell.

Education Projects

YWCA of Seattle, King County, and Snohomish County - $285,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will be used to support and expand the School's Out Washington program and its afterschool partnerships in 5 communities and improve the quality of afterschool programs. Specifically, the funding will be used to used to train staff and build the capacity of small organizations serving areas with scarce resources. Well trained staff are one of the most critical components in a high quality afterschool program.

Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center, Mobile Health and Science Education Laboratory - $143,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will help provide a mobile, hands-on science lab to improve inquiry-based science and health education across Washington state.

New Futures Child and Family Program - $190,000 -- Burien, WA
This funding will help serve additional low-income families in South King County by providing intensive educational services through the Child and Family program.

Northwest Center, Integrated Child Development Program - $238,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will help provide education and support services for developmentally delayed or disabled persons by upgrading and equipping a new Family Resource Center.

Workforce/Labor Projects

Aerospace Worker Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee - $476,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will be used to provide much needed worker training for Washington state's aerospace industry.  This new Washington Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Program will strengthen this cornerstone industry in Washington State. By increasing the skill level of this expanding workforce, Washington State will better compete for these business and the jobs in this global market.  With the initial state funding and the help of this funding request, the Washington Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Program will produce 500 new highly trained journey level skilled workers.

Seattle King County Workforce Development Council - $143,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will support the Seattle-King County Workforce Development Council (WDC) "demand side" workforce training efforts. The Seattle-King County WDC has become a national leader in demand-side (or industry) approaches to workforce development.  These funds will allow the WDC to provide training and assistance on these approaches across Washington state.

YouthCare - $95,000 -- Seattle, WA
This funding will be used to support YouthCare’s YouthTech project, a technology training program for homeless and out-of-school youth. YouthCare’s target population is youth who have exited foster care, dropped-out of schools, and are adjudicated.  These disconnected young people have traditionally been excluded from Workforce Investment Act and other federally funded youth employment programs due to the instability of their situations. This sixteen week paid training program teaches skills needed for entry level hardware, networking, computer software and employability skills.

Green River Community College - $285,000 -- Auburn, WA
This funding will support the Green River Community College's Computer Reporting Technologies program.