Hawkins Bill For Regional Sports Complex Passes WA Senate
A bill that would clear a legal hurdle for construction of a regional sports complex in the Wenatchee area is getting a warm reception in public facilities district .
Senator Brad Hawkins measure allowing for creation of a special tax district received unanimous approval - 45-0 - in the State Senate Wednesday evening.
Hawkins says it would allow for the Sports Complex project to move forward if there's support for it at the local level.
"This bill provides the local governments in our area an opportunity to come together on a regional basis to fund an aquatic center and a regional sports complex, if ultimately that's what our voters decide to do," said Hawkins.
The bill now heads to the House.
It allows local jurisdictions, which already the special tax district - known as a public facilities district (PFD) - to have an additional such district.
The distinction will be important specifically in Chelan and Douglas counties, where a PFD already exists.
The existing PFD was created to fund and oversees operations of the Town Toyota Center. It collects 0.1 percent sales tax from Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Cashmere, Entiat, Waterville, Chelan and Rock Island, as well as Chelan and Douglas counties.
The Hawkins bill which just passed the Senate allows the PFD to impose a voter-approved local sales and use tax at a rate of not more than 0.2 percent.
Language in Hawkins' measure further authorizes the PFD to construct, remodel, and operate regional aquatics and sports facilities, and transportation improvements directly associated with the facilities.
There have been conversations about including roadway infrastructure upgrades in a Sports Complex package that would go before voters.
The road upgrades would be in the immediate surrounding area of where the complex would be built.
There's some interest in locating the project in the Wenatchi Landing area just north of East Wenatchee, which sits on 283 acres near the Odabashian Bridge.
Hawkins secured $4 million in state funding for the Douglas County Sewer District to be extended into the area a few years ago.