WASHINGTON, D.C. - This morning, Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) received a call from Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), announcing news that $500,000 for the Mill Creek Project study has been included in next year's work plan.
“Mill Creek runs through the heart of Walla Walla and is in desperate need of repair,” said McMorris Rodgers. “The first call I made to the Trump administration at the end of 2016 was about this project because it’s critical to the future safety of the community. This project is designed to help protect the community from flooding and this study, which is one of six authorized nationwide, will finally start this process. While we’ve worked hard to maintain the Mill Creek channel, we need to update the channel to ensure we are keeping the community safe into the future. We’ve been working on this for years and as we continue to make investments in Eastern Washington’s infrastructure, I’m thankful the Trump administration acted on my request.”
NOTE: OMB Director Mick Mulvaney reiterated to the Congresswoman this morning that her constant communication with the administration ensured the inclusion of the Mill Creek study in the Work Plan.
The Mill Creek Flood Control Project is more than 70 years old, and the channel is reaching the end of its design life. The Walla Walla community continues an active and effective maintenance program, but project age is increasing the frequency, scope, and magnitude of repairs. Additionally, recent U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operational changes to the upstream reservoir have resulted in routinely higher flows through the Mill Creek Channel, thus accelerating maintenance requirements. These operational changes add a sense of urgency to the community’s request for the Corps to initiate a General Investigation (GI) Study. This is one of six new start studies that were selected throughout the United States.
In December of 2017, Rep. McMorris Rodgers wrote a letter to OMB and the Army Corps of Engineers again urging the inclusion of this study in their work plan. You can read that letter here.