Battle Ground, Ridgefield officials visit D.C. to push for local projects


Councilors and managers from North Clark County cities recently made their way from one Washington to the other as they visited the nation’s capital in order to advocate for local projects.

Battle Ground pushes infrastructure, downtown projects

Battle Ground City Manager Erin Erdman alongside councilors Shane Bowman, Adrian Cortes and Troy McCoy made their trip to Washington, D.C. at the end of February. The group met with U.S. Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, Sen. Patty Murray and staff from Sen. Maria Cantwell’s office, a social media post from the city stated.

Battle Ground is seeking funds for three projects in the city’s 2023 federal legislative agenda.

This year, the city is looking for $2 million in federal funding to extend sewer infrastructure from state Route 503 to Northwest 92nd Avenue.

Work is currently underway with the first phase of the project which involves constructing a pump station at Northwest 92nd Avenue, the legislative agenda stated. Other phases include a new force main and increasing the size of the existing main.

The project will open up development on 190 acres in the northwest quadrant of the city where existing sewer infrastructure is already near capacity, according to the agenda.

The city’s legislative agenda includes a request for $4 million to improve Southwest Eaton Boulevard between Southwest 20th Avenue and state Route 503.

The project would bring the roadway up to the city’s “minor arterial” standards. It will include a center turn lane and separated bike lanes and sidewalks from traffic, the agenda stated. Additional turn lanes at the state Route 503 intersection and a traffic signal at the Southwest 20th Avenue intersection are also in the plans. Apart from the federal request, the project already has $3.5 million in state and local funding, according to the agenda.

Battle Ground is also requesting $500,000 to complete engineering and design for a project to revitalize Main Street.

The city anticipates sidewalk and street widening, moving utility lines underground and increasing parking, the legislative agenda stated. The project is also expected to include improvements to Fairgrounds Park at the east end of Main Street.

Battle Ground’s federal agenda also includes an “in development” project for a new sanitary sewer force main.

The city currently uses a 16-inch force main for sewer waste that travels 9 miles to the Salmon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, the legislative agenda stated. The main is expected to reach capacity between 2032 and 2035 due to growth.

Battle Ground plans to construct a 24-inch main parallel to the existing 16-inch one, according to the agenda. If completed, the $40 million project would allow the city to grow for the next 50 years.

Ridgefield seeks continued success     with federal asks

The next week, Ridgefield sent its own group of leaders to the nation’s capital.

Ridgefield City Manager Steve Stuart, Mayor Jennifer Lindsay and councilor Matt Cole flew out to D.C., Stuart said in an email. Councilor Ron Onslow was already at the nation’s Capitol to attend a transit conference as the chair of the C-Tran board of directors, so he joined the other Ridgefielders for meetings when he could.

Stuart and the councilors met with staff for Southwest Washington’s Congressional delegation or the elected officials themselves, the city manager said. They also met with the permitting division of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Ridgefield’s visits to advocate at the federal level have seen success, Stuart said.

“It doesn’t happen overnight, in fact taking years of persistence, but in the past several years, that’s paid off,” Stuart stated in the email.

He noted past advocacy led to a $5.8 million grant to extend Pioneer Street, $9 million in funding for the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge administrative building and community nature center, a $1.2 million grant to connect the Gee Creek Trail from Heron Drive to the Carty Unit of the refuge, and $275,000 to dredge the mouth of Lake River to allow for greater access to the Ridgefield waterfront.

For 2023, Ridgefield has three projects on its federal legislative agenda.

The city is looking for $3 million for an overpass to connect South 11th Street to the west of Interstate 5 and the Union Ridgefield business park to the east. The money would help fund the design, engineering and permitting for the project.

The overpass is intended to reduce congestion at the city’s Pioneer Street interchange and allow for an alternative to Pioneer Street for those going between the west and east sides of the city, the legislative agenda stated.

Ridgefield is also seeking $1.5 million for the city’s Kennedy Well project. The city has purchased water rights from the Kennedy Farm in Ridgefield and plans to construct four wells to serve 440 new residential units in the area.

The total well project is expected to cost $3 million but it can be phased, the legislative agenda stated. The federal funding will offset the cost and the city would pass the savings to water rate payers, according to the agenda.

The city also has a $150,000 request to purchase three cameras and supporting equipment to place around the community. The cameras are intended to support public safety, the legislative agenda stated.