Tenino Optimistic About 2021 Projects and Grants


With COVID-19-ravaged 2020 nearly in the rearview mirror — thankfully — 2021 is already shaping up to help Tenino alleviate some of the past year’s trauma.

According to Tenino Clerk-Treasurer John Millard, the city’s budget is the lowest it’s been since 2015, but he says there’s reason for optimism — in the form of much-needed street improvements and other projects.

In a Dec. 4 press release, Millard unveiled a slate of grants the city has received: They include a $591,132 Small City Arterial Program (SCAP) grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board (TIB), which will be used to renovate Ritter Street between Sussex and Park avenues.

The completed project, Millard wrote, will “remake” the Ritter road surface that will be 25 feet wide between the two cross streets and will include about 100 feet of concrete curb to improve traffic flow at the Ritter-Sussex intersection.

Along the west side of the street, 5-foot-wide sidewalks will be installed with curbs and gutters, and on the east side a 2-foot-wide shoulder and 3-foot-wide landscaped depression with sloped sides will channel rain water runoff to the city’s storm drain system. While the roadway is repaired, Millard added, the city will replace the associated water mains. Working with Puget Sound Energy, the city also hopes to place the electrical distribution lines along Ritter Street underground, though the cost of this project may prohibit its execution, Millard said. Under the terms of the Small City Arterial Program (SCAP) grant, the Ritter Street project must be complete by Sept. 30, 2022.

In addition to the before-mentioned grant, Tenino also expects to receive approximately $137,500 through the Thurston Regional Planning Council’s Rural Communities Support Program to repair Hodgden Street North from the intersection of Sussex Avenue to a point approximately 115 feet north of the intersection. 

According to Millard, the project will include improvements to road surfaces, curbside parking on the west side of the street, curbs, gutters, and 5-foot-wide sidewalks along the east side of the street. Engineering work will occur in 2021 and construction in 2022; project completion is set for Sept. 30, 2022. 

A grant for $500,470 from the Washington State Legislature will help renovate the historic structure. It will help pay to repair the roof, re-tuck mortar between the sandstone blocks on the building’s north face, remodel office space, install new carpet and ceiling tiles, paint the exterior, install an awning over the entrance, install a new security system, and bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

The Washington State ARTS Commission has bolstered Tenino’s Christmas spirit, too. It recently awarded the city a $26,416.66 Creative District Pilot Capital Projects Grant. The grant requires a 1:1 match, so the total value could be as high as $52,833.32. 

The city hopes to use the funding to pave the parking lot behind the Tenino Mini-Mall that will include “asphalt art.”

Tenino’s quarry pool is also being renovated to improve the appearance and function of the “kiddie pool,” and renovate the mechanical and electrical systems to improve the efficiency of the pool’s filtration.  In addition, a Thurston County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will help the city renovate the city park’s Quarry House by upgrading kitchen facilities, bring the building into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and cosmetically improve the facility.

In total, Tenino’s projects represent approximately $1.55 million in municipal improvements. For more information, visit https://ci.tenino.wa.us.