Ellensburg Daily Record: U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert visits Kittitas County following redistricting

Ellensburg Daily Record

April 13, 2012

U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert may be a political newcomer in the rural areas east of Washington’s Cascade Mountains, but the 8th District congressman is quickly getting up to speed on Eastern Washington issues.

A redistricting plan approved in the Washington State Legislature this year reconfigured the district to take in Kittitas County, Chelan County and East Wenatchee in Douglas County, along with parts of Pierce and King counties. Reichert, R-Auburn, has represented the district since 2005.

Yakima Basin water

He said he is quickly getting up to speed on the Yakima River Basin Water Enhancement Project, a $5 billion proposal to increase water supplies, boost reservoir storage, improve fish passage and habitat, and preserve watershed areas in Kittitas, Yakima and Benton counties.

“We’re going to become engaged further in this,” Reichert said. “We have had some discussions with (4th Congressional District representative Doc Hastings’) office regarding this, so we’re just really at the tip of the iceberg for us regarding this one. We know that it’s a project that people in this community have been working on for years, and years, and years, and it’s one that continues on.”

Reichert said having two congressmen concerned with the issue could serve as an advantage when agencies seek funding for the project.

“You’ll have two loud voices with (Hastings) and myself working together on this thing,” Reichert said.

Reichert said he will need to research what methods have already been used in attempts to secure funding for the Yakima Basin project before he can take his own steps toward soliciting any federal funding.

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