Rep. DelBene and State Senator Pearson announce $1 million State Grant to Build New Concrete Public Safety Building

After a team effort by DelBene, Pearson and local city officials, Concrete receives $1 million grant from Washington State Department of Commerce to complete funding for a new public safety building

CONCRETE – Congresswoman Suzan DelBene, State Senator Kirk Pearson, Washington State Department of Commerce Director Brian Bonlender and Concrete Mayor Jason Miller announced today that the City of Concrete has been awarded $1 million towards construction of a new public safety building. The funds were formally awarded on December 31, 2013, by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

“Public safety is the primary duty of local government, and for too long, Concrete has been forced to deliver this service from an antiquated building that is in desperate need of replacement,” said DelBene. “Securing the funding for this project has been a team effort since day one, and I’m proud to have worked with Sen. Pearson and local Concrete officials to help deliver the final piece of funding for this important building that will serve the people of Concrete for years to come.”

Sen. Pearson, who represents Concrete as part of the 39th District, agreed, noting that it took a community effort to gain all the necessary funding to complete the new facility.

“This project is a great example of what we can accomplish when we all work together to get the job done,” said Pearson. “I am grateful that I was able to work with my colleagues in the Legislature, Director Bonlender, Congresswoman DelBene and the Town of Concrete to make the new Life Safety Building a priority and secure the funding necessary to make it a reality.”

Built over a century ago, the building that currently houses Concrete’s volunteer fire fighters and equipment is located on a steep slope along the Baker River that is quickly eroding beneath the building’s foundation. This makes repairs or modernization of the building unfeasible. Being located down river from the Upper Baker and Lower Baker Dams, the location of the current public safety building also makes it vulnerable to a large flood.

“Congratulations to Concrete for persevering to keep their vision for this critical public project on track. This outcome is an example of creative and effective problem-solving at its best, with all levels of government working together for the good of a community in need,” said Governor Jay Inslee.

“Congresswoman DelBene and Senator Pearson reached out and made a very convincing case for the urgent dilemma facing Concrete. I put our team right to work searching for potential funding sources and a timely path forward. With help from federal agencies, and supported by Governor Inslee, we secured the flexibility we needed to make this grant possible,” said Bonlender. “It simply would not have happened without elected officials joining forces toward a common goal.”

The million dollar grant comes from federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds dispersed through the Washington State Department of Commerce. The grant was awarded to Concrete based on the town’s application and after extensive work done by Rep. DelBene, Sen. Pearson and local Concrete officials, pressing the urgency of project.

Additionally, $785,000 was appropriated in the Washington State Capital Budget by the state legislature due in large part to the leadership of Sen. Pearson. With the Capital Budget appropriations and the CDBG funds, construction of the new Public Safety Building is now fully financed and work can begin to move forward with construction of the facility.

“Coming on the heels of the state capital budget appropriation, the CDBG funds are an absolutely crucial milestone for this project,” said Concrete Mayor Jason Miller, who took office January 1, 2014. “The Fire and Life Safety Building was one of our former Mayor Judd Wilson’s top priorities, and I look forward to managing this project through completion. Town of Concrete and its volunteer firefighters are very thankful to the state legislature and our federal government for providing the funding that will enable us to better serve and safeguard our citizens.”

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