OLYMPIA -Thurston County's recently formed Transportation Benefit District (TBD) Board has held its first meeting. Under state law, Thurston County Commissioners, acting as an ex-officio, form the board and guide the work to be done by the body. Commissioners voted in late December to form the district, which covers the unincorporated areas of the county.-30-
At their first official meeting Tuesday, the TBD board adopted bylaws, set a regular meeting time and named Thurston County Public Works as the lead entity to do actual transportation work. The Transportation Benefit District Board will meet the third Tuesday of each month, after the regular afternoon County Commission meeting. They chose Commissioner Bud Blake as president of the TBD Board and Commissioner Sandra Romero as Vice President. Commissioner Cathy Wolfe is the third member.
Blake says the district will be important as the county strives to preserve and improve transportation facilities and services. "There are many stresses regarding transportation in Thurston County including aging infrastructure, increasing travel for many people, different modes of travel and a growing population. It is increasingly important to make sure we have an efficient and well maintained transportation system and the TBD will help us achieve those goals."
Commissioner Romero says the new organization provides flexibility when it comes to transportation. "The TBD gives the county another tool that can help us with safe bridges and safe roads."
Commissioner Wolfe says, "Counties across the state, including Thurston, are struggling with infrastructure challenges. The Transportation Benefit District will help us provide a system that county residents need and deserve."
Public Works Director Ramiro Chavez says input from the public will be critical as the work of the Transportation Benefit District gets underway. "Right now we are working on a plan to involve the public. We hope county residents will take the time let us know what they think the transportation priorities for the county should be, and provide us feedback on funding strategies. As soon as we have finalized the outreach plan, we will let everyone know how and when they can give us their opinion."
In the meantime, those who want more information about the Transportation Benefit District can visit this page (http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/publicworks/docs/TBD/TBD_InfoSheet.pdf) on the county web site.