2020 City of Tumwater Legislative Priorities
The City of Tumwater supports legislation that furthers the goals of the City's Strategic Plan and protects the City’s ability to provide basic municipal services to residents. Prior to the start of each legislative session, the City Council adopts Legislative Priorities. These priorities are developed by City staff, the Mayor, and Councilmembers.
The Union and Pioneer Calvary cemeteries are two of the oldest cemeteries in Thurston County. The cemeteries are significant because of their association with the earliest period of Tumwater history and for being the location of burials of some of the first American settlers in the region. Indian War volunteers, War of 1812, and Civil War veterans are buried in these cemeteries. The Union Cemetery is also significant for its association with George Bush, a prominent African American member of the 1845 settlement party of the present-day Tumwater area. An adopted Master Plan guides the City’s investment in the site. Iron fencing, additional security fencing, lighting, irrigation, landscaping, and signage are included in this first phase of improvements. Minor improvements have been done by volunteers and a partnership with the adjacent private cemetery and funeral home. The City is requesting $50,000 from the State’s Historic Cemetery Program that we would match with $58,000. All phases of improvement total about $250,000.
E Street Extension
Build a connection from Capitol Boulevard to Cleveland Avenue (Yelm Highway) at E Street to alleviate congestion near the brewery and provide access over the railroad tracks to the brewery warehouse. Conceptual design is complete and pending public input. The City is pursuing relocation of Tumwater Valley Drive to move it from the E Street intersection in conjunction with the Craft District development. This project could be an ideal candidate for a major State or Federal funding program. Preliminary engineering and initial permitting cost is $2 million, the total project cost is estimated at $45 million. Given the challenges with transportation funding, this is being advanced for informational awareness.
The State’s Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) provides funding for studies and loans for infrastructure that support job creation in Washington. One such study led to the SPSCC brewing and distilling education program and the overall initiative for Tumwater Craft. A second CERB-funded planning study resulted in the proposed craft beverage start-up project. The City is considering application to CERB for funding of the start-up project. CERB is requesting additional funding for the remainder of the biennium and failure to obtain additional funds would jeopardize the City’s loan request. CERB is requesting $15 million in funding.
Following the Mazama Pocket Gopher’s listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, the City has been partnering with the Port of Olympia on a Habitat Conservation Plan that will identify the type and amount of mitigation land to be set-aside for gopher mitigation banking. The banks will allow for private and public development to occur in other parts of Tumwater City limits where development has been stopped because of potential gopher habitat impacts. The amount of land needed is in the process of being identified and the solution is anticipated to cost many millions of dollars. We are requesting $2 million in initial funding to begin purchasing one or more mitigation sites.
Housing & Homelessness
The City is implementing a Housing and Homelessness Action Plan, including protections for tenants, regulatory reforms, implementation of SHB 1406 funding, a regional housing study, working with other jurisdictions on regional solutions, and encouraging alternative housing. We are asking the State to fund investment in services and facilities (stabilization sites, tiny houses, and supporting housing) for people currently living in homelessness on State property, including freeway rights-of-way, capital campus, and Deschutes Parkway.