Gov. Gregoire approves final clean water Recovery Act projects

OLYMPIA, WA, Dec. 17, 2009 -- Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington Department of Ecology have approved the last four projects to share part of $66 million in Recovery Act funding to build or enhance clean water infrastructure...

• All 17 projects worth $66 million to provide estimated 1,300 jobs

OLYMPIA, WA, Dec. 17, 2009 -- Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington Department of Ecology have approved the last four projects to share part of $66 million in Recovery Act funding to build or enhance clean water infrastructure. They will share $9 million and provide nearly 80 short-term construction jobs.

They bring to 17 the state's total of clean water projects funded through the Recovery Act. Together, they are estimated to create 1,280 construction jobs and retain 21 jobs in the state. All are on track to have contracts bid and finalized by Feb. 17, 2010, due to federal requirements.

"This is an incredibly fast time frame for communities to get contracts bid and signed in the next two months, and I thank everyone for pitching in to move this along," Gregoire said. "The hard work of our communities will lead to job creation, economic recovery and environmental protection."

The approved projects are:

* Clark County's Upper Whipple Creek habitat protection and runoff control project, which will receive $850,000 to protect five acres of critical wetland habitat. The project will reduce flooding and protect downstream reaches of the creek from runoff erosion. The upper Whipple Creek project area contains some of the highest quality remaining habitat in the Vancouver urban growth area. Half of the funding is low-interest loan and half is forgivable-interest loan, meaning it does not have to be paid back.
* Cowlitz County's failing sewer system in Ryderwood, which will receive $2.9 million to replace defective sewer mainlines and pipes. The project will rehabilitate or replace 28 sewer manholes. During wet weather conditions experiences significant overloading, which results in raw sewage overflows at manholes and discharge of partially treated wastewater from the treatment plant. Of the total, $2.2 million is forgivable-principal loan. The department expects the remainder to be a low-interest loan.
* Rock Island wastewater treatment facility in Douglas County, which will receive $3.4 million to help construct a new wastewater collection system that will serve approximately 270 residents. The subsidy is a forgivable-principal loan. The city has applied for additional low-interest loan funding from the Clean Water Pollution Control Revolving Fund.
* The city of Tacoma's stormwater treatment retrofit project, which will receive $1.9 million to install an underground vault to capture runoff from 74 industrial acres. A series of filters will clean the stormwater runoff before it is discharged into the Thea-Foss drainage basin of Puget Sound's Commencement Bay.

For a complete project list, see State Revolving Fund FY 2010 Final Intended Use Plan posted on the Department of Ecology's Web site at: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/funding/StimFunding/FedStimFundsSRF.html.

Washington state is administering the Recovery Act investments with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Gov. Gregoire created a Web site, www.recovery.wa.gov, enabling every Washingtonian to see where tax dollars are going and hold government accountable for the results. On the federal level, President Obama has appointed Vice President Biden, a proven and aggressive inspector general, to oversee the recovery efforts of all the states and to root out waste and fraud. This combined oversight will ensure taxpayer dollars aren't wasted.

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