Ports of Benton and Kennewick join forces and help fight to loca - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Ports of Benton and Kennewick join forces and help fight to localize shoreline control

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KENNEWICK, WA- Since the 1940's the federal government has controlled the shoreline along most of Columbia River in the Tri-Cities. Recently the ports of Benton and Kennewick joined forces with the other local governments to complete a coalition trying to localize that control.

We talked with President and CEO of TriDEC, Carl Adrian, "in a sense we have unanimity among all the public entities involved, this is something we need to move forward and see what's possible, investigate, that sort of thing". 

For several years they've been fighting to get control back to the local governments and away from the Army Corps of Engineers, "currently the cities are spending I think collectively almost 2 million dollars to maintain the Corps of Engineers park they're not spending any money I think the cities would be more willing if it was property they controlled and owned". 

However, after talking with the Corps of Engineers, their Public Affairs Specialist, Bruce Henrickson told us, "we are apart of the Army I would anticipate that changes if any would need to come from our change of command which runs all the way up to the White House and Congress". 

According to Adrian, the end goal is, "to have the property transferred back to local governments but the intermediate step and what's now going through Congress is language that directs the corps to provide information on exactly what property they own, how they acquired it and how much they pay for it". 

Senator Patty Murray and Representative Dan Newhouse are pledging to look into getting land turned over to local control. 

By having local control, Adrian says, "i think we'll see an improvement in operation of the parks, the ability to change a sprinkler head when it's broken rather than asking somebody for permission where it takes weeks or months to get it done".