BASIN CITY -- Organizers who are set to build farmworker housing near Ringold hope it will lessen conflict between seasonal migrant workers and anglers who camp there and reduce garbage problems.
A ground breaking is planned at 2 p.m. today at Road 170 and Highpoint Road near Basin City, where six two-bedroom, two-bathroom duplexes and a manager's residence will be built.
Brittany Kingery, general manager of the nonprofit Washington Farm Labor Association, said the group hopes to open the $3.25 million Ringold Farmworker Housing complex next June.
Getting the housing units built has taken years. They were conceived when a number of agencies -- the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, state Health Department, Franklin County Farm Bureau and Bureau of Reclamation -- were brought together by a group assembled to resolve disputes between farmworkers and anglers.
"There'd be up to 150, 200 people camping down there," said David Manterola, a Washington Farm Labor Association board member.
He said issues such as waste disposal had gotten worse in the last seven years.
"There is still a lot of camping going on," he said, adding that toilets and other facilities have been installed over the years.
Once complete, the complex should be able to house 96 seasonal workers, although about 10 percent of the rooms will be kept vacant for walk-ins, Kingery said.
The Washington Farm Labor Association will own and manage the buildings on land leased by the Franklin County Farm Bureau. The project was funded by state and private dollars. The Office of Rural & Farmworker Housing is the project developer.
* Drew Foster: 509-585-7207; firstname.lastname@example.org