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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, June 15, 2017
Bryan Dominique, Public Information Officer-Board of County Commissioners, (360) 463-3737 or dominib@co.thurston.wa.us

Thurston County Commissioners propose creation of Convention District
Commissioners set public hearing to receive public testimony for July 25

OLYMPIA – On June 6, the Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution proposing the creation of a cultural arts, stadium, and convention district. A public hearing to receive comments from Thurston County residents has been set for Tuesday, July 25, at 5:30 p.m.

What: Public Hearing for creating a Cultural Arts, Stadium, and Convention District
When: Tuesday, July 25, at 5:30 p.m.
Where: Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Drive SW, Olympia WA, Building 1, Room 280

By taking this action, the Commissioners have taken a proactive approach towards the future of the Thurston County region. Creating a convention district will set the stage for sustainable economic development strategies through job creation, new industry, and tourism that could have a positive impact in the county for many years.

Under state law, each jurisdiction in Thurston County can participate and hold a seat on the governing board for creating the cultural arts, stadium, and convention center district; or, may opt out by submitting a copy of an adopted resolution requesting its deletion from the proposed district to the Board prior to the July 25, public hearing. If no response, the jurisdiction will automatically be included in the district.

Within two years of the public hearing, the Board of County Commissioners may pass a resolution to approve a ballot measure to put the creation of the district in front of the voters. The main objective of this new district, if approved by the voters, will be to implement a regional convention center.

“I’m excited about the possibility of a convention center in Thurston County,” said Commission Chair, Bud Blake. “It gives our region another way to emerge as a destination for events, new industry, and tourism.”

“At this point, we are not asking the citizens for funding or to approve a selected site,” said Commission Vice-Chair, John Hutchings. “With this resolution we are just asking if there is support from our voters to begin exploring the option of creating this district.”

“This is really a way to move the economic engine of the county forward,” said Commissioner Gary Edwards. “It would drive economic development, not only through the creation of jobs, but in attracting new industry and business as tourism increases and organizations hold events right here in our county.”

Public testimony will be accepted at the July 25, hearing. The public may submit written comments in lieu of testimony at the hearing. Written comments can be emailed to Ramiro Chavez, County Manager, at chavezr@co.thurston.wa.us, or hand delivered or mailed to:

Thurston County Board of County Commissioners
Attn: Ramiro Chavez
2000 Lakeridge Drive SW
Olympia, WA 98502

The deadline for written comments is 5:00 p.m. Monday, July 24, 2017. The Board of County Commissioners may choose to move forward with creating the district at the end of the July 25, public hearing, or they may request staff to provide more information prior to making the decision.

You can find a copy of the resolution at 
Board of County Commissioners Resolution 15476


County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3