The state's capital budget, adopted by the Washington State Legislature just before it adjourned April 11, includes funding for important projects in South King County, thanks in part to the efforts of Sen. Joe Fain of Auburn.
"The projects included in the capital budget aren't as widely publicized as the operating budget, but the investments we make in improving our long-term infrastructure are of paramount importance for our communities," said Fain, who serves the 47th Legislative District. "There's a lot of competition for capital-budget dollars, but we cannot turn our backs on infrastructure investments that save money and improve our quality of life in the long run."
Fain helped secure more than $7 million for improvements to the Briscoe and Desimone levees along the Green River in Kent.
"The levees matter a great deal to homeowners and businesses who worry about flooding throughout the Kent valley. These investments help ensure the integrity of the levees and move us down the path toward certification by the Army Corps of Engineers. Eventually this will help lower flood-insurance premiums in the area and keep the valley's economic engine strong."
The capital budget also included $400,000 for roofing repairs at the Covington Aquatic Center.
"The aquatic center is widely used by residents of Covington and the surrounding community and also provides jobs for our region's young people who are entering the workforce for the first time," continued Fain, whose first job was as a swim instructor and lifeguard.
"As a former coach and pool manager I know how piecemeal repairs and patchwork fixes end up costing more in the long run. This maintenance package will help our 35-year-old facility continue serving as a community gathering place for years to come."
The capital budget allocates funding for important building and construction projects statewide and passed both the House and the Senate at the end of the special legislative session with overwhelming and bipartisan support.