City of Yakima Has Plans in the Works for Stimulus Money - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

City of Yakima Has Plans in the Works for Stimulus Money

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YAKIMA, Wash-- As President Obama signs the stimulus package in Denver, cities all over the US wait for their portion of the pie. The stimulus money will work its way down from the federal government to the state, then from the state to the cities. 

Bill Cook with the City of Yakima said they have several construction projects in mind. Now their waiting for Olympia.

"They're telling us that whenever that start date comes and we don't know what the start date will be we may only have 90 or 120 days to go to bid," said Cook.

Three construction projects top the list. Railroad grade separation at both MLK and Lincoln, phase four of the downtown revitalization and sidewalk work on Nob Hill Blvd at the new Wal-Mart construction.

For construction projects to qualify for federal funding they need to be what's called shovel ready. That means the environmental review process is completed, all paper works been filled out and its essentially ready to go out for construction bids.

The idea is bigger than just improving roads and creating some short term construction jobs. As a construction worker Tim Shaw hopes to see long lasting results.

"They should make it so that the jobs that they create makes a long term thing," said Shaw.

"The idea is if you can get a sizable number of jobs going very quickly, first of all confidence will start to comeback. Other jobs will start to materialize from that," said Cook.

Cook said other construction projects similar to some of Yakima's plans have a huge impact on the local job force. Half of the dollars spent on the project go towards worker payroll.

The railroad grad separation project would utilize local companies from carpentry, cement work to electrical. Cook estimates around 350 jobs for the 24 month construction time. 

Currently, private construction at the West Valley Wal-Mart includes companies out of Zillah, Yakima, Ellensburg and Spokane.