SEATTLE- The entire Central Puget Sound region has been put on notice by the Federal government, concerned Washington State doesn’t have enough money to fund vital transportation projects.
The U.S. Department of Transportation sent the letter April 23rd and said, in part, without a serious budget overhaul, the future of those plans seems doubtful.
The letter was addressed to the Puget Sound Regional Council who designs and plans a transportation budget for the next 30 years. They project over the next three decades, another million people will move to the area. They plan to double the hours of Metro bus service and expand Sound Transit from Tacoma to Redmond.
The problem? Money. Federal officials charged with overseeing the planning sent a strongly-worded letter warning the group, there just isn’t enough money to pay for it all. They said unless the tax payers start footing the bill and the Legislature in Olympia passes a state wide transportation budget, those dreams will be just that.
“The lack of the willingness to compromise is killing us everywhere,” said Congressman Jim McDermott, D-WA.
The Legislature hasn’t passed a statewide transportation budget in almost a decade and Federal highway funds are expected to dry up in August without action.
“The Governor called them in and they refused to deal with it so they're bringing this down on their heads. The people get a chance to shoot at them here in the next election,” added McDermott.
For now the Council said it was full steam ahead with their plan, but the Federal government still needs to approve it in June.