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Water projects recommended — finalists for economic recovery funds listed

For Immediate Release: April 23, 2009

OLYMPIA – Gov. Chris Gregoire and the Washington State Department of Health have announced the final list of drinking water construction projects recommended to receive $38.5 million in federal economic stimulus funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The federal recovery money will help pay for projects that create jobs and address urgent public health needs, such as poor water quality or failing equipment. The state Public Works Board will meet to make final decisions on the list at a special meeting April 27.

“We all need safe, reliable drinking water, and the projects on this list go a long way toward achieving that goal,” said Gregoire. “Putting this money to work quickly in high priority areas will create jobs and improve quality of life in these communities.”

The list contains 24 projects throughout the state in 18 counties. They range from $27,500 for arsenic treatment and installing an emergency generator in Kittitas County to $6 million for an underground reservoir in Seattle. The list is posted on the Department of Health Web site ( Nearly 350 applications were filed with the department for projects totaling more than $415.7 million.

“The need is huge, and there are more worthy projects than we can fund; still, it’s gratifying to be able to help some of these communities,” said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. “These are important projects in water systems in need of repairs to protect public health, and many of them are in communities that face pressing economic need.”

Projects that can begin by June 16, 2009 received extra consideration because those projects may save jobs or create new ones more quickly. At least 20 percent of the money will be spent on “green” projects, such as projects that help communities save water.


Washington state is administering the Recovery Act investments with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Gov. Chris Gregoire created a new Web site,, enabling every Washingtonian to see where their tax dollars are going and hold government accountable for the results. On the federal level, President Obama has appointed Vice President Biden to oversee all states' recovery efforts and to root out waste and fraud. This combined oversight will ensure taxpayer dollars are put to good use and recharge the economy.