County urges Inslee to include State Patrol in traffic control for U.S. Open

Staff writerMarch 18, 2014 

An overview of Chambers Bay Golf Links in University Place, February 26, 2014.

PETER HALEY — Staff photographer Buy Photo

Pierce County leaders are urging Gov. Jay Inslee not to veto a section of the state budget that directs the Washington State Patrol to help with traffic control during the 2015 U.S. Open in University Place.

The Legislature’s budget assigned the responsibility to the State Patrol but gave it no added funding.

Inslee’s proposed budget had included $400,000 for the State Patrol to support local law enforcement during the major golf championship in June 2015 at Chambers Bay golf course.

The governor’s office isn’t saying whether Inslee will keep or veto the section in the supplemental budget. He’s expected to sign the budget late this month.

“Our office is still reviewing the final budget so no decisions have yet been made about what actions the governor will be taking when he signs the bill,” spokeswoman Jaime Smith said.

In a letter to Inslee Tuesday, Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy and County Council Chairman Dan Roach urged the governor to let stand the section assigning duties to the State Patrol “to provide certainty for our planning efforts.”

“The U.S. Open will be the largest paid admission event in state history -- with three times as many attendees as the recent Super Bowl,” McCarthy and Roach wrote.

They suggested that the State Patrol still could receive more funding at a later date.

“If adjustments need to be made in a Second Supplemental (budget), we support that,” they wrote.

The State Patrol wouldn’t say whether it supports or opposes taking on the added responsibility without dedicated funding.

“We’ll answer any questions the governor may have about this matter,” said State Patrol spokesman Bob Calkins. “But at this point, our answers will be directed to the governor and we won’t be discussing this publicly.”

Steve Maynard: 253-597-8647
steve.maynard@thenewstribune.com
@TNTstevemaynard

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