Yakima City Council Looking To Fund 11 Different Projects at a T - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima City Council Looking To Fund 11 Different Projects at a Total $80 Million Price Tag

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YAKIMA, WA. -- The City of Yakima has a long wish list of projects. From a downtown plaza to cleaning up North First Street. But the city council only has a limited amount of money available. 

We expected the city council to pick and choose which projects they liked the most but this afternoon we learned the city was presented each project and has now put off a final decision until November. 

There's nearly 90 million dollars needed for 11 big projects the city council would like to complete, but only 17 million dollars available right now. So something will have to give. 

Changes are coming to Yakima. A lot of them. And city manager Tony O'Rourke says that's what people want. 

"They're telling us through the community surveys that they want improvements," O'Rourke said.

O'Rourke compiled a list of the 11 top projects the city council would like to do. The list includes things like a new soccer complex, expanding the police station and a new indoor public pool.

"A lot of these facilities whether it's roads, police, parks and recreation, fire station, have had deferred investment for not years, decades," O'Rourke said. "We need to catch up, we need to provide amenities to this community."

It all sounds lovely, but it won't be cheap. It will take an estimated 10 million dollars to remodel the fire station, 11 million dollars for a downtown plaza, and 3 million dollars to improve the airport. 

"All this money will come from internal current revenue streams, and no new taxes, no new fees to accomplish these investments," O'Rourke said.

The city has 17 million to spend right away. Next month they plan to prioritize the most important projects that will start right away. This vote symbolizes more than just what will get done now rather than later. It shows a strong effort by the city council to make Yakima a better place to live. 

Another major source of funding the city is looking toward could come in the November ballot. The voters could approve a mandatory $750,000 from the city's budget to be spent solely on the local parks and recreation.

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