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News briefs for Nov. 7, 2019

Roundabouts open to traffic; Washougal receives award for budget

Washougal roundabouts open to traffic

Two new roundabouts on State Route 14 in Washougal are nearing completion and are open to traffic.

On Wednesday, Oct. 30, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the city of Washougal, the Port of Camas-Washougal, elected officials and members of the community celebrated the functional completion of the SR 14 Access Improvements Project with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. All lanes are open to traffic, but there is the potential for closures in the next several weeks as minor electrical work and landscaping is completed.

Construction on the two roundabouts located at 15th Street/Washougal River Road and 32nd Street in Washougal began last spring.

“Roundabouts at these locations offer the greatest safety benefit by reducing the potential for severe collisions,” according to a news release issued by WSDOT. “In addition, the work improves connectivity and economic development opportunities for the city, the Port and the entire corridor.”

WSDOT partnered with the city of Washougal to include locally made sculptures at the central island of the roundabout at 15th Street/Washougal River Road.

“The artwork complements the background scenery of the Columbia River Gorge and welcomes visitors to Washougal,” the news release states.

The $7.5 million-dollar project was funded as part of the Connection Washington program that enhances the state’s transportation system and maintains critical infrastructure.

Washougal receives award for budget

The Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) has awarded the city of Washougal with the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award.

“The award represents a significant achievement by the city,” according to a news release on the city’s website. “It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting.”

The city satisfied nationally recognized guidelines designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as a policy document, financial plan, operations guide and communications device.

Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories and in the 14 mandatory criteria within those categories to receive the award, according to the news release.

“The city of Washougal is committed to adhering to the highest standard in governmental budget preparation, and we are proud to again be recognized with such a prestigious national honor,” city finance director Jennifer Forsberg said in the news release. “I would like to thank all the city’s departments for their assistance with the budget process, which makes achieving this award possible.”

More than 1,600 participants are part of the Budget Awards Program.