Major investments for South King County in newly approved capital budget

Passage of a new state capital budget means more community projects for South King County, according to Sen. Joe Fain, who advocated for the region’s priorities. The state’s $4.2 capital budget pays for long-term infrastructure including classrooms, flood prevention efforts, local park improvements and a variety of other community programs.

“Our community has seen a lot of value and investment from state grants in recent years, which have helped maintain and improve our quality of life,” said Fain, who represents parts of Auburn, Kent, Covington, Renton and Federal Way in the Washington State Senate. “In this year’s capital budget we secured funding toward quality places for young people to learn, recreate, and receive the support services they need. Local leaders from the cities of Kent, Auburn, Covington, and other local organizations do a phenomenal job advocating for our community in this process.”

The capital budget is separate from the general operating budget that pays for the day-to-day costs of state government. Public schools see the largest influx of funding to provide support for districts building new schools or modernizing outdated facilities with $1 billion toward the School Construction Assistance Program.

Construction of a new YMCA in Kent’s East Hill received $5.2 million in grants, which adds to the money provided by the City of Kent, YMCA, King County Council and other private donations.

“For years providing a community center in Kent’s East Hill has been a top priority of mine to ensure children can access valuable learning and mentorship opportunities in a safe environment,” said Fain. “We’ve made a great deal of progress toward bringing to reality our vision of a place that will serve children for decades to come. It’s been so exciting to work with such great community partners as the City of Kent, YMCA, and neighborhood advocates, as we all coalesce toward our common goal.”

Additional funding was provided for repairs and upgrades at Green River and Highline Colleges as well as $500,000 to support Auburn’s Nexus Youth and Families mission of providing housing, treatment, counseling and other services to homeless or at-risk youth. The Covington Town Center project also received an $820,000 funding infusion to help support the public space redevelopment in Covington’s new town center.

The capital budget runs through June of 2019 and was approved by the Senate and House of Representative with overwhelming support. It was signed into law Friday afternoon by the governor.