The following are the Pasco City Council's 2019-2021 Washington State Legislative Priorities, as passed by the City Council in September 2018.
PEANUTS COMMUNITY PLAZA and FARMERS MARKET: At the epicenter of downtown Pasco is Peanuts Park, the primary and historic gathering place for the community. The park is the heart of a culturally diverse downtown core. The City is leveraging this project, as part of a bundle of projects to revitalize the downtown core, enhance economic opportunities for the agricultural community and provide the public greater access to locally grown produce. Design for these improvements is expected to be complete in the spring of 2019 with construction to commence shortly thereafter. Considerable public outreach was part of the master planning process and as a result the project enjoys significant public support. The City requests $3 million in funding for Phase 1 of this project to revitalize the downtown plaza and farmers market structures, upgrading this important community gathering place in a way that will spur economic development.
PROCESS WATER REUSE FACILITY IMPROVEMENTS PHASE I: The City requests $3 million for improvements to the City’s industrial wastewater treatment facility which supports a very successful food processing cluster and farmers within the region. These proposed conveyance, rehabilitation and treatment improvements will improve the reliability of the facility and allow for the needed and planned expansion in productivity of current food processors utilizing the facility and create capacity for additional processors. This project is necessary to support the current processors and farmers benefitting from the plant and allow for growth of the Pasco Ag Processing Cluster.
ALLOW CITY PUBLIC FACILITY DISTRICT TO FUND AQUATIC CENTER: The Pasco Public Facility District (PFD) would like to fund and construct an aquatic center. Regional and county PFDs are authorized to construct “recreational facilities”; however, city PFDs are not. The City requests legislation or a local tool to bring this project to fruition.
INFRASTRUCTURE FUNDING (TIB & PWAA): The City of Pasco has several significant infrastructure projects that are too expensive to fund solely with local funding, including; Lewis Street Overpass project replaces a deteriorating and functionally obsolete 1937 underpass on a former state highway; Argent Road, widening and improving safety, capacity and multi-modal opportunities in the immediate vicinity of the Tri-Cities Airport in Pasco, Columbia Basin College and nearby commercially zoned properties. The City requests that the Legislature fund key infrastructure funding programs, including the Transportation Improvement Board (TIB) and the Public Works Assistance Account (PWAA) to provide adequate funding sources to complete these projects. Specifically, the City requests that the legislature return funding streams, such as the utility tax and real estate excise tax revenues, to the PWAA.
BASIC LAW ENFORCEMENT ACADAMY (BLEA) FUNDING: The City of Pasco supports increased funding and other solutions to ensure newly hired officers are able to complete training through the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (BLEA) at the Criminal Justice Training Commission in a timely manner. At current funding levels, the Criminal Justice Training Commission has a backlog of officers awaiting training. State law requires that officers are trained within 6 months of hire. The current backlog exceeds this statutory timeline. This results in law enforcement agencies throughout the state hiring new officers, and then keeping them on staff for upwards of 6 months, unable to perform police work until their training is complete.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TOOLS: The City of Pasco joins the Association of Washington Cities in encouraging the State to reinvigorate economic development programs currently in statute that now remain unfunded, such as the Local Revitalization Fund (LRF), the Local Infrastructure Financing Tool (LIFT), the Job Development Fund (JDF), and others. Additionally, Pasco supports establishing a tax increment financing or value capture financing program, similar to what is established in other states.
DEFEND LOCAL CONTROL: The City of Pasco believes the best governmental decisions are those that are made closest to the people represented. Cities possess strong local authority to provide for the safety and welfare of their residents, and the Legislature must abstain from restricting, mandating, or otherwise interfering with local decisions. The City of Pasco will oppose legislative actions that are inconsistent with this view.
For more information, contact or call the City's Manager's office at (509) 545-3404.