Progress Edition

City of West Richland: Growth, civic pride booming in West Richland

The entrance sign to the recently completed Yakima River Gateway. The park includes river access and amenities along the Yakima River including walking, biking, fishing, swimming and picnicking along with a public restroom. It also includes a much-needed parking lot as well as interpretive signage telling of the local history and flora and fauna.
The entrance sign to the recently completed Yakima River Gateway. The park includes river access and amenities along the Yakima River including walking, biking, fishing, swimming and picnicking along with a public restroom. It also includes a much-needed parking lot as well as interpretive signage telling of the local history and flora and fauna. Courtesy City of West Richland

West Richland is a community that not only offers a unique lifestyle but also has economic offerings. With the booming growth of the nearby Red Mountain American Viticultural Area, the wine business is proving to provide West Richland an opportunity to capitalize on a multimillion dollar industry.

In August 2016, the city completed construction of a $3.1 million Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant (I-Plant) that can treat and process wastewater from not only wine production facilities, but also from breweries, distilleries and creameries.

We are very proud to have been awarded the 2016 Infrastructure Assistance Coordinating Council (IACC) Capital Facilities Project of the year and the 2016 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Columbia Section Capital Project of the year for the project.

Coinciding with completion of the plant was construction of a $6 million, 40,000-square-foot winery by the Crimson Wine Group from Napa Valley California. Operating under the Double Canyon label, the facility is expected to barrel 50,000 cases annually with ample room to expand. Red Mountain Center is also home to Black Heron Distillery and Sugar Horse Cellars.

The Richland School District also sees the future of West Richland as bright.

Leona Libby Middle School at Belmont and Keene opened in the fall of 2017. The school employs approximately 90 teachers and staff members and has capacity for 800 students. The new school will relieve the pressure of overcrowding at Enterprise Middle School.

The city and the district also partnered on the construction of a 10-foot wide asphalt pathway from Willowbend Street to Belmont Boulevard. The newly constructed pathway provides safe pedestrian and bicycle access from the neighborhoods south of Keene Road to the new middle school.

The district recently submitted plans for a new elementary school on Belmont Boulevard that will be open in the fall of 2019. We also anticipate receiving construction plans for a new 40,000-square-foot school district administrative building to be sited west of Leona Libby Middle School that will consolidate the district’s administrative functions into one facility.

Rounding out the district’s planned facilities is its third high school, which will be constructed in the future on 70 acres purchased in the summer of 2016 adjacent to Leona Libby Middle School. The city is proud to be a partner in the district’s growth in West Richland.

With the continued growth of our city, we have outgrown our city campus. Construction was completed in August of 2017 on the new Municipal Services Facility at the southeast corner of Belmont Boulevard and Keene Road. It houses both the engineering and maintenance divisions of the Public Works Department, Community Development and Building Department, and City Council chambers.

The council chambers design allows it to be a multi-use facility that can host events such as town hall meetings, training sessions and seminars. In the future, the Finance Department will occupy a wing of the space and offer the residents a consolidated campus to conduct business with the city.

With construction of the new city campus, the City Council is excited to market the Belmont Business District, which has the capacity to support an estimated 60,000 gross square feet of commercial floor area. This will also open up opportunities to market the city campus on West Van Giesen Street to increase economic development in the downtown corridor as it is considered prime commercial real estate.

The Yakima River Gateway is another exciting project completed in 2017. This project acquired land for a trail and riverfront park with river access and amenities along the river including walking, biking, fishing, swimming and picnicking along with parking and a public restroom. The park includes a much needed parking lot and interpretive signage to tell local history and describe flora and fauna.

Two additional projects of note are the South 38th Avenue road construction project that will pave the roadway south to Northlake Drive as well as Mt. Adams View Drive from the intersection with South 38th Avenue to Bombing Range Rd. This is a long planned improvement that was a partnership with Benton County and will provide an improved north to south roadway corridor to benefit both City of West Richland and Benton County residents.

As mayor, I am honored to lead a committed City Council. The members concentrate on their strategic focus areas to deliver on their goals and objectives, and I’m proud to lead a talented senior staff and their committed teams. I am excited about what 2018 will bring. There are many exciting projects and opportunities that will increase the quality life in West Richland.

Residents and visitors have seen our Hogs and Dogs, Veterans Day Parade, Time of Remembrance, Harvest Festival, National Night Out, sports events, and festivals in our city parks grow and become more popular year after year.

I am proud of the foundation of cooperation and civic pride that has been a trademark of our city for many years. The city is also fortunate to have so many community partners like the West Richland Chamber of Commerce, Benton REA, Port of Kennewick and Mid-Columbia Libraries, which give so much toward providing the wonderful quality of life that we enjoy in our community.

Visit our Web site at www.westrichland.org and like us on Facebook.

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