MONTESANO, Wash. - The Chehalis River Basin Flood Authority voted yesterday to shift about $4 million from three other projects to fund the Mary’s River Lumber project on the Chehalis River in Montesano.
It will help protect the sawmill, and the city's wastewater treatment plan across from State Route 107 from eroding riverbanks.
Flood Authority Chairwoman Vickie Raines proposes to move the money because pre-construction work has been done and the project is “shovel ready.”
The move pulls funding from the Satsop, Mill Creek and Wiskhah Road projects for the time being, Raines said this morning that they will move forward on the design and permitting stage for Wishkah and Cosmopolis projects to get them to shovel ready status.
The Authority said the other projects are still priorities and it is expected that additional appropriations from the Legislature will allow money to be transferred back to the other projects for construction.
Senator Jim Hargrove and Representatives Steve Tharinger and Brian Blake have committed to advocate in the next Legislative session for the funding needed to complete the three projects. Fully funding the Montesano project provides the opportunity to construct the project potentially before the coming flood season and prevent catastrophic damage if another major flood was to occur. Even with the transfer of funds to the Montesano project there is still funding for engineering design and permits to proceed as planned for the three other projects.
The Flood Authority also adopted a new method for funding the early warning system, Lewis County will pay %64, Grays Harbor %22, and Thurston county %14 of the $55,000 annual fee.