Press Release
Commissioners

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kittitas County Board of Commissioners: Update on Projects and Accomplishments for 2019

Kittitas County, WA - 10/22/2019 - The Kittitas County Board of Commissioners are proud of the work that has been accomplished in 2019. We are continuing to work and collaborate together on behalf of our citizens to ensure Kittitas County maintains its rural character, plan for continued growth, create an economically diverse economy, and be responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.
 

In 2019, through the leadership of the current Commissioners and the Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, $1,737,584.50 was allocated to lodging tax projects assisting to fund 28 local events and provide 1.5M to the Washington State Horse Park as matching funds enabling the buildout of their covered riding arena.
 
Other accomplishments include the ability to help house 1,547 people over 130 nights in the Cold Weather Shelter, allocating $130,234 for HopeSource’s Senior Support and Advocacy Program, as well as allocating $54,822.00 for HopeSources’s Woman’s Sober House Project.
 
Kittitas County has secured all 800 ac-ft/yr. for back mitigation water we have been required to achieve 5 years ahead of schedule. In 2019, which was deemed as a drought year by the State of Washington, Kittitas County held a water auction benefiting the agriculture community by securing the water necessary for irrigation to ensure productive crops.
 
In addition to these accomplishments, the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners is also working on   long term, multi-year projects. Just like in many operations, these projects have Commissioners leading the charge.
 
Commissioner Osiadacz is working with local stakeholders and decision makers to continue the I-90 East project from its current ending point at Exit 70 in Easton to Exit 85. By extending the project an additional 15 miles it will lead to a more logical ending point allowing traffic to distribute to SR 970, Hwy 10 and US-97. Forest Health and managing the influx of recreationist visiting our county are other efforts Commissioner Osiadacz has been dedicated to. This is being pursued by partnering with state, federal and private land owners to manage across all lands. Through these efforts she is working with partners to find certainty of supply in timber.  This coupled with an economic partner to invest in a mill will bring new jobs to our community while managing for healthier forests. In addition to these projects Commissioner Osiadacz represents Kittitas County during the legislative session as a member of the Washington State Association of Counties to advocate for issues that are pertinent to our community. A few of the legislative priorities for 2020 include: advocating for the state to fund the full cost of trial court public defense services, and opposing unfunded mandates.
 
Commissioner Wright has been deeply involved with projects benefiting our community including the Yakima Basin Integrated Plan, working with local and state stakeholders to ensure we have water to expand our water banks, and securing the remainder of the back mitigation water needed for Kittitas County.  He has also been dedicated to finding solutions for the aviation community at Bowers Field. Commissioner Wright is exploring long-term options for further development that will bring economic stability to the airfield. Moreover, he is searching for short-term goals including maintenance issues that will support the safety of aviators and the surrounding community.
 
Commissioner Wachsmith is very talented when it comes to managing the counties finances.  He served four years prior to being elected Commissioner as Kittitas County Treasurer. He also has worked in the private sector as an accountant. His skills helped the county find new ways to finance projects and earn additional income through investments without raising taxes to the citizens who own property in Kittitas County. Commissioner Wachsmith is using these accounting skills to find new ways that will not affect the general fund balance to finance some large capital projects that Kittitas County has considered for many years including upgrades to the Kittitas Valley Event Center and building a new County Courthouse. In addition to this work Commissioner Wachsmith has been in the community building partnerships with stakeholders such as Central Washington University, the City of Ellensburg, and the Ellensburg Rodeo Board of Directors.
 
The Kittitas County Board of Commissioners is a young and energetic Board. We believe this is a strength we offer that will propel us into the future. We all came into office with new ideas that have been implemented successfully. Commissioner Osiadacz, Commissioner Wright, and Commissioner Wachsmith each have unique talents they bring to the table. There are many long term projects left to complete. We are confident the Kittitas County Board of Commissioners will work to ensure our community remains a wonderful place to live as we move into the future while protecting our rural character, and fostering the tools needed to build a more robust and diverse economy.
 

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at http://www.co.kittitas.wa.us

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Contact: Kittitas County
Board of Commissioners
205 W 5th AVE STE 108
Ellensburg WA 98926-2887

509-962-7508
509-962-7679 fax
bocc@co.kittitas.wa.us