Congress sets aside $3 million of the 2023 federal budget for Thurston County projects


The US Congress passed on Friday, December 23, a $1.7 trillion spending bill for the fiscal year 2023, with $3 million allocated for Thurston County.

The 2023 omnibus spending bill included funding for three community projects requested by Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland.

The project with the most significant funding is Intercity Transit’s zero-fare transit program, which allows passengers to use the bus and the Dial-a-Lift services for free. The program is set to receive $1,825,950, which will be used to renovate 145 bus stops, according to Strickland’s press release.

Thurston County Sheriff’s Office was also given a budget worth $448,000 to acquire a rapid DNA testing system. The testing instrument is expected to help solve crimes and identify victims of cases that are not the priority of the state lab. The US Department of Justice will fund the acquisition through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. “Having a Rapid DNA instrument will also ensure the office can quickly provide answers to the community for victim identification when the next disaster strikes,” the FY23 Congress passed omnibus details.

The last project is for the proposed History and Nature Center at Brewery Park in Tumwater. Olympia Tumwater Foundation is set to receive $750,000 through the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s community development fund to develop the project. The proposed 4,800-square-foot building will provide exhibit space for natural, cultural, and historical resources of the region’s landscape.

Strickland secured a total of $19 million for 14 community projects for her constituency. With the spending bill approved by Congress, it now goes to President Joe Biden’s office for his signature.


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