Richland PFD asking City Council to extend lease for Hanford Rea - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Richland PFD asking City Council to extend lease for Hanford Reach Interpretive Center

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RICHLAND, Wash.-- The Hanford Reach Interpretive Center project appears to be gaining some momentum.

Organizers are moving forward with plans for a smaller scale building. The changes could actually allow them to move more money into the construction budget.

This land is being leased to the Richland Public Facilities District by the City of Richland to build The REACH Center. But with a new building approach, they're asking the City to extend deadlines on the lease for a second time and give them access to additional money.

The REACH Center is on the verge of starting construction, but their lease with the City is up on September 30th. So, they're asking the City to vote at Tuesday night's city council meeting to extend that lease to June of 2013.

They're also asking the City to reduce the amount of money they're required to keep in reserves from 3.4 million dollars to 1.5 million dollars, since they're now planning to build a smaller scale structure.

"Our work to cut our expenses, all the changes that you've seen and witnessed in this project, this is it. By their voting in favor of this, this tells us we're doing the right thing. We're doing the right thing for them and for this community," says Lisa Toomey, CEO Hanford Reach Interpretive Center.

The City will also vote whether the center can get access to seven hundred thousand dollars from the Department of Transportation that's earmarked for the infrastructure phase of the project.

The money can only be accessed if that phase is shovel ready and the PFD says they are.

If these votes pass and all goes as planned, infrastructure work would start this fall and the building construction next June.

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