Yakima leaders fight for city's future

Yakima leaders fight for city's future
YAKIMA, Wash.-- Yakima leaders are back home after spending most of the week in Washington D.C. They met with several agencies that hold the key to millions of dollars in federal grants.

"Anything to improve is a good thing," says Ray Weber, who pays close attention to city council.

Yakima's latest push is for money to provide better access to the old mill site, major airport upgrades and to solidify the gang free initiative. City Manager Tony O'Rourke hopes his experience in other cities will payoff for Yakima.

Yakima is pursuing $40 million alone from the Department of Transportation and the EPA for infrastructure and cleanup surrounding the mill site.

"It's an eyesore," said Weber. "It's a big lot of property and something definitely needs to be done with it."

Yakima also has hopes for a $30 million grant from the FAA for the airport. Of that, $20 million would go toward a new terminal. Ray has seen this play out before.

"I've lived here all my life and I know it's a failure pretty much every time," said Weber.

Despite that, Yakima leaders are optimistic. They also applied for almost $2 million for more police officers and roughly a half million to support the gang free initiative from the Justice Department. Ambitious goals that need to clear the budget obstacles in the nation's capital.

Yakima leaders say the timing of decisions on the grants is up in the air because of budget issues in Congress. They expect to have a better idea next month.