Seeing the pink cherry blossoms lining our city streets brings me JOY. Somehow that simple sign of spring has invigorated me, and given me a sense of relief knowing that the long arduous winter is now behind us. Two large black crows have taken up residency in the cherry blossom tree outside of my city hall office. I imagine they, too, are encouraged by the activity they see while perched high up above the city.
I am encouraged and grateful! From my seat I see activity all around town, including City of Longview functions. Notwithstanding that just one year ago much of the world shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the city has been striving to keep a “business as usual” motto. City staff work diligently behind the scenes to keep the city purring, and to fulfill policy that council has ratified.
During these final days of the state legislative session, my Mayoral duties have included representing the city to the legislature - testifying at hearings, challenging the decisions that aren’t in our best interest, and showing gratitude and cheering for our 19th District state legislators in the House and Senate. Representatives Jim Walsh and Joel McEntire from the House of Representatives, and Senator Jeff Wilson from the Senate, as well as our legislative assistants of Gordon Thomas Honeywell, Josh Weiss and Annika Vaughn, work tirelessly to help champion victories for Longview. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful for every hour they work on our behalf.
This year, the City of Longview Legislative Agenda included a request for funds ($1.07mil) to renovate significant parts of our beautiful Lake Sacajawea - the restoration of our beloved Martin’s Dock, and new sidewalks and restroom facilities at Hemlock Plaza. Additionally, the city requested ($15 mil) to help bridge the funding gap of the Industrial Way/Oregon Way (IWOW) grade separation project. These IWOW funds will provide a fantastic opportunity for expansion of freight mobility for the entire region, and will bring construction jobs to our community for years to come. I am pleased to report that these funding requests have been tentatively approved and are in the final stages of legislative negotiations.
As a refresher, here are some of the remarkable state funded projects we have been awarded in past legislative agendas:
- Beech Street extension - Will be business and road ready this summer!
- Legends Firing Range - Will be ready for use this year!
- Police Satellite Station - Highlands office @Archie Anderson Park- Ready this Summer!
- RA Long Park Gazebo - Built in 2019;
- Sidewalks and lighting for the Shay Locomotive Pavilion @ Longview Public Library property -installed in 2019;
- Industrial Way/Oregon Way grade separation project - $85 mil funded in 2015
Take a look around and soak in the beauty of our community. We are blessed indeed.
Stay well, have courage and be grateful every day!
Mayor MaryAlice Wallis