Lacey council reviews legislative priorities for 2024, including emergency measures and I-5 issues


The Lacey City Council reviewed some of its legislative priorities for the coming year during its work session on Thursday, November 9.

The annual review aims to align Lacey's policies and priorities with federal and state levels, as outlined in the 2024 Federal Legislative Priorities and the 2024 State Legislative Priorities Agenda and Manual.

One of the key initiatives presented involves plans for a new police station, slated to include an Emergency Coordination Center (ECC). Anticipated to encompass over 1,440 square feet, the ECC will house mission-critical equipment such as workstations, monitors, radios, emergency generators, and emergency management software.

Set to break ground in Winter 2024 and open in Fall 2025, Lacey is seeking $500,000 in funding to facilitate the development of the ECC, aiming to enhance crisis response capabilities for the community.

The city also looks at the Regional Athletic Complex, a premier outdoor sporting venue in the state, as one of its priorities. The proposed project involves the conversion of 239 aging high-intensity discharging lamps to LED lights.

According to Lacey’s Government Affairs Consultant Brian Enslow, this initiative aligns with Lacey’s climate plan and the Thurston Climate Mitigation Plan, promoting energy conservation and economic development. To implement this change, the city is requesting $300,000 in funding.

Staff said the city also recognizes the state’s efforts in addressing the homeless crisis, as it will ask for sustainable operating and capital funding sources to ensure the ongoing success of these projects across the state.

With a focus on defense community compatibility, Lacey is also urging the State Legislature to continue investing in the Defense Community Compatibility Account. The 2023-25 Capital Budget allocated $35.8 million to support projects throughout the state, leveraging additional local and federal funds exceeding $126 million.

I-5 issues

The city would also like to continue focusing on the I-5 Corridor between Mounts Road and Tumwater.

“Interstate 5 is the lifeline of commerce, transportation, and JBLM’s mission readiness in the Puget Sound Region,” the report read.

“However, the current design of I-5 impedes critical ecological functions of the Nisqually River Delta critical to salmon survival, is at risk of being flooded by the Nisqually River, resulting in national security concerns and is inadequate to meet the growing commerce and transportation demands of our state,” it added.

Enslow also listed Lacey’s future priority projects, including Childcare and Early Learning Access: Young Child and Family Center, Joint Animal Services: Regional Animal Facility and Thurston County Regional Basic Law Enforcement Academies and Training Center.

Lacey Assistant City Manager Shannon Kelley-Fong said the city is tentatively scheduled to consider the adoption of the 2024 Federal and State Legislative Priorities at its December 7 meeting.


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