Yakima Gets 2 Million for Mill Site Developement
The City of Yakima will be getting two million dollars in L.I.F.T. money to help in the development of the mill site along I-82. LIFT stands for Local Infrastructure Financing Tool. The City of Yakima was facing the possibility of losing the money if the legislature did not approve it this year. It was included in the state budget approved over the weekend and signed by Governor Jay Inslee.
Yakima City Manager Tony O’Rourke says “the investment in the mill site could be everything from the acquisition of property, to road infrastructure to clean up. A wide possible use of funds for those purposes to turn a brownfield to hopefully and economic gem.”
The version of the LIFT legislation supported by the City passed the State House during the regular session, but was amended in the Senate on the last day of the regular session, leaving no time for a conference committee to reach any sort of compromise on the two versions of the legislation. Because the focus would be on adopting an operational budget, conventional wisdom indicated that the legislation would not be addressed during the first special session. That proved true. Even less likely was that the legislation would be addressed during the second special session and that is would most likely be next year before it would be back before legislators.
O’Rourke credits the cities lobbyist Jim Justin. “This is a major legislative coup on Jim’s part, not only getting the LIFT money through this year, but getting it through during a special session that was focusing on the budget.”