Monthly Archives: August 2013

WSDOT Reform Takes Center Stage

Two substantive efforts to consider reforms of WSDOT and transportation spending are underway.

The Legislature mandated a study of transportation cost-drivers.  Meanwhile, Senate Transportation Committee Co-Chair Curtis King has announced a series of meetings around the state to review reform proposals.

House Transportation Chair Judy Clibborn chairs the advisory committee overseeing the Transportation Project Efficiencies Study required by the Legislature.

“As we make policy we need to do it from an educated point of view, and not just have it be something we pulled out of the air that we heard two years ago and nobody has ever been able to validate,” said Rep. Clibborn, D-Mercer Island, at the committee’s first meeting. “The other side of it is that there are some things that are myths and there are some things that are reality, and we have to deal with them in a realistic way.”

The study will conclude with a report to the Legislature on the cost drivers by the end of the year.

On a separate track, Sen. King, R-Yakima, said he has contacted WSDOT Secretary Lynn Peterson, requesting her agency’s cooperation in coordinating a series of public meetings around the state. King said he and his colleagues in the Senate’s Majority Coalition Caucus would like to gather as much input as possible from Washington residents and WSDOT officials in various regions around the state in order to craft a viable transportation package that could be supported by lawmakers as well as taxpayers.

“In order to pass a transportation package of any substance there will likely be a need for additional revenue to pay for projects,” King said, “but before we go to the people asking for more money, the state needs to prove that it’s already stretching every dollar it has. We’ve compiled a list of ten reforms that could be implemented to save millions of dollars with minimal impact to other areas of the budget, and it’s our intention to discuss those ideas with DOT and the public at these meetings.”

King’s letter to Peterson requests that regional administrators present a prioritized list of projects based upon safety, congestion relief and economic development, and asks that their list contain a detailed scope and a cost estimate for each project that would be valid through the 2014 legislative session. In addition, the letter asks for reform suggestions from each regional office and seeks to encourage public comment on the Majority Coalition Caucus list of specific reform proposals. The proposals include exempting transportation construction projects from the state sales tax, streamlined permitting and an “open dialogue about prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements.”

Click here for more info about these meetings.

McKinstry helps Trailside build a basketball court

Seattle-based McKinstry and Leadership Snohomish County worked together to raise money for a new basketball court for Trailside Boys & Girls Club of Snohomish County, which claims to be the smallest club in the country.

The court opened late last month at 1300 100th Place S.E. in Everett. Trailside opened in 2007 and is free for kids.

“The kids are thrilled with the new court,” said Marci Volmer, area director at Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, in a release. “We are elated to be able to provide a safe outdoor recreational area for our club members.”

Kevin McKay, vice president for finance and operations at Edmonds Community College, originally contacted McKinstry for help. He was part of a team made up of Darrell Smith (manager of site/civil services at Perteet Inc.),  Adrianne Wagner (quality program manager at The Everett Clinic),  Cathy Johnson (manager of medical surgical nursing at Providence Regional Medical Center) and  Robin Sjolund (branch manager at Union Bank).

“When we heard about Trailside’s need for a new court, we jumped at the opportunity to help,” said Mark Jonson, Seattle energy business unit manager for McKinstry, in the release. “Giving back to the communities where we work and live is a priority for McKinstry. We hope we can continue to work with Trailside and other Boys & Girls Clubs throughout Washington state in the near future.”

Slam-dunk for McKinstry!