PHOTO: Governor Inslee signs Senate Bill 5001 yesterday afternoon alongside representatives from the Olympia and Wenatchee regions. From left to right: Chuck Denney (City of Tumwater), Mark Spurgeon (Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority), Rep. Beth Doglio (D-Olympia), Brynn Brady (Special Olympics of Washington), Paul Simmons (City of Olympia), JC Baldwin (Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority), and Sen. Brad Hawkins (R-East Wenatchee).

OLYMPIA... Washington state Governor Jay Inslee signed Senator Hawkins’ Senate Bill 5001 into law yesterday, allowing communities to form a second public facilities district.

Hawkins’ legislation is aimed at supporting development of a regional sports complex in the greater Wenatchee area and authorizes local governments to join together to seek voter approval of regional facilities. The bill provides a legal framework for the financing and governance of a new public facilities district.

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“It’s always exciting to get a bill to the Governor, especially considering the long and arduous journey this one had,” said Hawkins. “To have this new authority signed into law today will create some great opportunities for our community.”

Hawkins credited passage to the many local officials and organizations who supported the effort. Senate Bill 5001 was supported by the City of Wenatchee, City of East Wenatchee, Chelan County, Douglas County, Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority, Chelan-Douglas Transportation Council, Link Transit, Our Valley, Our Future, Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce, Confluence Health, Velocity Swimming, and Special Olympics of Washington.

Working with local mayors, county commissioners, regional port, chamber, community leaders, and swimming groups, Hawkins hosted several meetings last fall on the proposal. From those conversations, stakeholders have expressed interest in potentially siting a project in the Wenatchi Landing area near East Wenatchee, 283 acres of regionally accessible land near the Odabashian Bridge.

"A Regional Sports Complex in Wenatchi Landing will serve as a catalyst for development of significant economic activities in that area, including hotels, restaurants, and retail shopping," Hawkins said. 

The Chelan-Douglas Regional Port Authority is currently administering a feasibility study to analyze the project and its economic benefits. The study group is comprised of numerous local officials and is chaired by East Wenatchee Mayor Jerrilea Crawford.

To learn more about the Regional Sports Complex, click here.

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