Redistricting is on the agenda

By on Monday, March 28th, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The Walla Walla County Board of Commissioners meets today (Monday) at 10 a.m. Commissioners will consider a resolution approving the schedule for the county’s redistricting process based on population from the 2020 census. Walla Walla County is currently considering up to four possible draft plans.

On April 5, a workshop will be held with the board of commissioners and redistricting committee to review the draft plans. Public comment will also be allowed during this workshop. Then, on April 11, the board of commissioners will provide a decision on which draft plan to publish. The draft plan will be published on the county website. A public hearing on that plan will be held April 25 and on May 2 the board will vote on adopting the plan.

Also on the agenda, commissioners will consider a resolution initiating a county road project on Mill Creek Road from milepost 6.5 to 8. In the resolution, the Walla Walla County Public Works Department states that section of Mill Creek Road is too narrow for the amount and type of traffic it receives. Public works staff believe it would be in the public’s best interest to improve safety by widening that section. The estimated $2.3 million project has been selected to receive federal funding.

The commissioners will also hear a presentation from the Walla Walla County Fairgrounds regarding a $200,000 grant from the economic development sales tax fund and the ability to access a $200,000 loan for the arena expansion viewing platforms project with the following condition one condition. Private funding will have to be available and secured before grant funds are dispersed; and other public and/or private funds estimated at $850,000 are secured and expended to request disbursement of this economic development sales tax fund loan from the Port of Walla Walla

The viewing platforms would be constructed at an elevated height above the rodeo arena bucking chutes and timed-event chutes. Approximately 50 boxes would be created on the platforms with each box capable of accommodating 14 to 16 people. This project, which is currently in the design phase, is estimated to go out to bid this spring with construction to follow. The anticipated completion date will be prior to this year’s Walla Walla Fair and Frontier Days happening Aug. 31-Sept. 4.

The total project is estimated to cost $1.2 million, and the amount secured to date for this project is $850,000.