RICHLAND -- The Richland City Council will interview four candidates for two open positions on the Public Facilities District board starting at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.
Mayor John Fox recently told the Herald he believes the city should focus more attention on the district, which is overseeing development of the $40.5 million Hanford Reach Interpretive Center.
The Reach is proposed as a 61,000-square-foot museum and interpretive center telling the story of the Hanford Reach National Monument and the flora, fauna, geology and history of the region.
About $26 million has been secured for the project so far through a combination of federal and state money and fundraising.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Tri-City Herald
The project hit stumbling blocks in recent months as planners learned they wouldn't be allowed to build at their preferred site at the confluence of the Columbia and Yakima rivers in Richland because of objections by area tribes.
That could mean the $40.5 million construction estimate may change, depending on how construction would have to be adjusted for a new location.
The public facilities district has discussed building in the west end of Columbia Park, but that site is pending approval of the Army Corps of Engineers.
A point of concern for Fox has been a disagreement between the district, the public agency that will own and operate the cultural and regional museum, and the board of directors for The Reach, a nonprofit formed to raise money to build the project.
Representatives from both agencies have been talking for months about a memorandum of understanding that clearly defines their relationship and respective roles with the interpretive center.
An existing memorandum governing the relationship between the facilities district and The Reach board expired Dec. 31 and was extended for six months by the district while the two agencies negotiated.
But a meeting of the minds hasn't yet come, and the facilities district board in May declined to approve the new agreement.
A contractual agreement is required between the two entities by the state Auditor's Office.
The council will conduct interviews in the administration annex conference room, 975 George Washington Way. Appointments to the board will be made later in July.
The four people who have applied for the vacancies are:
* Linda Boomer, currently serving as the board president and reapplying for another term;
* Daniel L. Boyd, a certified public accountant and treasurer for The Reach board;
* Allan Brecke, a lawyer and member of the state's Community Economic Revitalization Board;
* Nicholas Ceto III, record of decision manager for the Department of Energy's Richland Operations Office and secretary for The Reach board.