City Manager Jeff Niten thanked members of the 35th Legislative District Delegation for their hard work in securing $933,000 in state funding for upcoming improvement projects in the City of Shelton. The City of Shelton is represented by Senator Tim Sheldon, and State Representatives Drew MacEwen and Dan Griffey.
$283,000 is listed in the 2019-21 Capital Budget under the Local & Community Projects Program for resurfacing the gravel parking lot and installing a selection of recreational amenities and stormwater system and landscaping improvements in the 400 block of West Cota Street east of the Shelton Civic Center. Through a variety of public outreach efforts, including the development of the Downtown Vision Plan, this project was identified by the community as a way to provide additional parking and community recreation amenities in the downtown core, including basketball hoops and pickleball courts. City residents, businesses, and visitors to our community, will benefit from the additional downtown parking area and increased access to local businesses. The recreation amenities, new landscaping, and stormwater system improvements will help to improve the environmental, physical, social, and economic health of the community.
$650,000 is listed in the 2019-21 Transportation Budget under the Local Programs Program (Z) for intersection improvements at Wallace Kneeland Boulevard and Shelton Springs Road. The estimated $2.3 million dollar project will include the replacement of the aging, low functioning traffic signal with a single-lane traffic circle, streetlights, sidewalks, ADA ramps, and stormwater upgrades. Wallace Kneeland Boulevard is a National Highway System Route that connects the east Mason County industrial area with north Shelton and U.S. Highway 101, and provides access to Shelton High School, Oakland Bay Junior High School, and the future site of the Shelton YMCA.
On recommendation from professional design consultants, and experts at the Washington State Department of Transportation, City officials determined that a single-lane traffic circle is the best option for improving the safety, traffic flow, and overall efficiency of the intersection making it easier for residents and visitors alike to move around Shelton. Studies have shown that traffic circles are safer than traditional stop signs or signal controlled intersections, and can in fact reduce intersection crashes, injuries, and fatalities. In addition to the safety and traffic flow benefits, traffic circles are less expensive to maintain than signal-controlled intersections due to the elimination of expensive hardware, maintenance, and electrical costs associated with traffic signals. Traffic circles also benefit the environment, and drivers, by decreasing both fuel consumption and emissions.
“We applaud our State Legislative Delegation for working so hard to secure this capital funding,” said City Manager Jeff Niten. “These funds will allow us to move forward on two significant improvement projects for the City. We are also very excited to see that $3.5 million dollars is allocated for the Shelton YMCA project. The addition of a YMCA facility in the City is a huge positive for our community.”
In July of 2018, the Shelton City Council gave final approval on a long-term land lease agreement with the South Sound YMCA for the development of a new $16 million dollar, 37,500 square foot multipurpose YMCA community facility at Wallace Kneeland Blvd and North Shelton Springs Road. The City
agreed to lease the 10.5-acre piece of property to South Sound YMCA for $1 per year during the initial 60-year term, with an option to extend the lease for an additional 40 years at the same rate.