Patty in the News

U.S. Senator Patty Murray announced Feb. 25 that she has included more than $2 million for the City of Auburn in the final version of a key yearly spending bill, including $1.9 million for the city's A-B Street Corridor Connector projects.

The A-B Street project will connect a major north-south route with a vital 1.47 mile missing link for the 3.5 mile traffic corridor. City officials say that the A-B Corridor Connector is critical to generating jobs and promoting the long-term economic health of the City. The corridor will also provide a northerly emergency access point for traffic entering and leaving the city center.

This project is part of a comprehensive strategy to breathe new life into the downtown.

“This funding will help support local jobs and Auburn’s long-term goal of downtown revitalization,” Sen. Murray said in a press release. “In the face of a deepening recession, keeping vital local projects like this moving forward is critically important. I'm proud to work to return Auburn residents’ taxpayer dollars to projects in their own backyard."

“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 Mayor Pete Lewis. "Senator Murray’s longstanding support for this project has enabled the City to successfully address the economic and traffic needs of its citizens.”

The corridor will provide a northerly emergency access point for traffic entering and leaving the city center. Improved emergency access is critical because downtown Auburn is adjacent to the mainline BNSF railroad. Trains along this line block other northwesterly routes out of the city center on a frequent and unpredictable basis. Without the corridor, emergency access to the Auburn Regional Medical Center, a level 3 trauma center, is severely compromised.

The 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Bill will include $285,000 as well to support Green River Community College's Computer Reporting Technologies program, which trains students to provide quality captioning for nearly 30 million deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans. This funding would help to create more student scholarships, provide for equipment/technology upgrades and strengthen the existing Distance Learning program.

It will provide for continued professional retraining workshops for working court reporters interested in captioning as an alternative or second career and additional community outreach projects serving the local deaf and hard-of-hearing communities..

The bill funds projects for the rest of the 2009 Fiscal Year which runs until Sept. 30. The Omnibus bill is separate from the Economic Recovery bill Passed by Congress and enacted by President Barack Obama last week. The House of Representatives was expected to vote Thurday on the bill with the Senate following suit this week. It will then be sent to the president for his approval.

- The Auburn Reporter