Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
December, 2011
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This Month's Articles

Looking Back at 2011.

National Adoption Day Celebration.

Learning About Car Prowls the Hard Way.

Three Ways to Help Prevent Flooding in Your Neighborhood.

Public Works Receives National Accreditation.

New - Healthy Homes Program Starting!

‘Tis the Season for . . .

Don’t Forget To Recycle Your Christmas Tree!

The Seven Wonders of Thurston County!

What’s in a Name?

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 Looking Back at 2011.

A message from the Thurston County Commissioners.

As we head into a new year, it’s time to look back at 2011 and reflect on what we have done and what remains to be accomplished. We are very proud of the work of county employees this past year and look forward to another year of working with them on behalf of all Thurston County residents in 2012.

Major projects and programs of 2011include:

  • Retrofitting the main county campus buildings for energy savings and less use of greenhouse gases. This program was done with $617,000 in federal grant funding. The goal is to reduce county energy use by 25% from 2009 levels and cut related costs by 15%.
  • Beginning work on an agritourism ordinance that will help spur interest in and support of the many wonderful farms and other rural enterprises we have here in Thurston County.
  • Working to open the Accountability and Restitution Center. In spite of very tight finances, it appears we may have found a way to open the new jail, possibly in 2012.
  • Constructing a new Emergency Coordination Center. Construction began in December 2010 and will be completed in 2012 on the new ECC building on Tilley Road as well as new administrative space for Public Works. This project is partly paid for with a federal grant and will allow the county to move out of some leased space for further savings.
  • Reconstruction of Yelm Highway from Rich Road to Henderson Boulevard. This project provides two lanes in each direction of travel and matches the roadway on either end. Many thanks to area residents and motorists for their patience during this significant project! This should be completed in 2012.
  • Providing seed money for the preservation of Olympia’s Capital Lake Isthmus. Commissioners voted to approve $600,000 in conservation futures funds to the Olympia Capital Park Foundation, provided they can raise the additional funding needed to convert the blocks to parks space.
  • Creating a permanent home for Camp Quixote, the homeless encampment that has been forced to move every 90 days or so. Pending zoning approvals and other issues, the new camp would be on county-owned property in the Mottman Industrial area.
  • Strengthening emergency preparedness. More than 70 officials from the county, all the cities in the county, firefighters, police officers, emergency managers and others traveled to the Federal Emergency Management Agency center in May for a week’s worth of training. The sessions, paid for by FEMA, will enable the county to better prepare for and react to emergencies like earthquakes and flooding and to better assist county residents.
  • Rewriting the county’s Critical Areas Ordinance which is many years out of date and out of compliance with state requirements. An updated CAO will help ensure that the county is in line with state and federal law and that there is some certainty in land use planning while achieving a balance with preservation of the natural environment we all appreciate. Our thanks to the hard working county Planning Commission and the many citizens who have taken the time to share their thoughts on these issues.
  • Adopting a balanced budget- a tough task in these difficult financial times. Kudos to the other county elected officials,department directors and county workers for holding back on spending while still providing top notch services.
  • Helping to keep the Tenino Quarry Pool and Monarch Sculpture Park open. We had many community partners in these efforts, and we will continue to work with them for permanent solutions.
  • Creating the “Seven Wonders of Thurston County” list. Thurston County residents demonstrated their pride in our area by voting on their favorite attractions (including the Tenino Quarry Pool). The entire list can be found here.


As always, we welcome your comments and suggestions on the topics above or any other issue. Please feel free to contact us:

By John Tennis

District One Commissioner Cathy Wolfe. District One Commissioner Cathy Wolfe.

District Two Commissioner Sandra Romero. District Two Commissioner Sandra Romero.

District Three Commissioner Karen Valenzuela. District Three Commissioner Karen Valenzuela.