WALLA WALLA, Washington — A potential plethora of projects is facing the Port of Walla Walla this year. At Thursday’s port commissioner’s meeting, the commissioners took a look at some large capital-budget projects that need to be addressed either this year or very soon.
Port Executive Director Pat Reay says there isn’t really a priority of which projects are more important, as they are all equally needed repairs: a new taxi-way for the Walla Walla Regional Airport, a new water system for the industrial area near Wallula, and a new water system for the Walla Walla Airport Industrial Park.
Reay says the airport area hasn’t truly had updated water and sewer systems since it was first constructed as a military base in the 1940s; ditto for the taxi-way. There have been minor improvements from time to time on the taxi-way, but what the Port is looking at now is a $13-million project to rip out the old taxi-way and put in a brand new one.
As far as funding, Reay just got back from Washington, D.C. where he was lobbying members of Congress along with other port directors for the funds. Reay says there is also a full-time lobbyist in Olympia, Washington, who talks to delegates at the Legislature.