State of the Cities 2013 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

State of the Cities 2013

Posted: Updated:

PASCO, Wash.-- A who's who of Tri-Cities community leaders gathered for the State of the Cities luncheon in Pasco Tuesday.

The mayors from Kennewick, Pasco, Richland and West Richland all shared their collective visions for the region.

The four mayors spoke about how their combined efforts are making progress on regional projects and moving the region into its best era yet.

The mayors now meet once a month to discuss how the cities can improve together.

At Tuesday's state of the cities they shared their team work.

"Partnership among the four cities has grown much, much stronger over the last year than any time in history and because of that we're able to cut out cost of operation. We're finding ways to do things for less money and we've kept our taxes down," said Kennewick Mayor Steve Young.

A regional dispatch center, law enforcement collaboration and a regional aquatics center planned for the ballot are just a few examples of how the partnership is paying off.

"In the past it would've been so difficult to get four cities on board supporting such a project and of course it'll be the voters' decision. The big thing is we're working together," Mayor Young said.

"We are now talking about doing regional facilities as a Tri-Cities effort and that is I think a prime example of the golden age that we are in the Tri-Cities," said Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins.

Working together is helping cities benefit from what each has to offer.

"Being a small city, we don't have the resources to do the things we'd like to see happen in our city to open those gateways to our future without partners," said West Richland Mayor Donna Noski.

The Tri-Cities is now recognized across the nation for it rapid growth and local leaders say it's time capitalize on that by sticking together.

Mayor John Fox wasn't at the event because he's vacationing in France, but he send along a video message for the crowd.

As the growth of the region brings more challenges and successes, the local mayors insist the quality of life in the Tri-Cities is better than ever.

HD DOPPLER 6i
/