Former West Richland Mayor in the running again, current Mayor wants to continue his progress

Former West Richland Mayor in the running again, current Mayor wants to continue his progress

A former Mayor of West Richland is campaigning to take the seat back. Jerry Peltier was Mayor of the city for twelve years. He then lost the mayor’s race in 2004.

“I really wanted to do some things when I was Mayor, but just because of work load and so forth I just didn’t have the time to do it. Now I’m retired, I’m in good health. I said why not,” said Peltier.

Peltier was a city council member for 12 years before that. At the time, he was also working at Hanford full-time. Now the retired 75 year old is ready to put all his efforts into the city again.

His goal is to get back to rural development and infrastructure. He said when he was Mayor the city spent almost nothing on development, but the area grew quickly.

“All of the economic development, all of the major road repairs and rebuilds – bombing range road, Yoke’s, the post office, you go right on down the list, were all done during my administration,” said Peltier.

Peltier said he hasn’t seen much commercial growth in the city since then. He will be running against current Mayor Brent Gerry.

Gerry has been Mayor for about 3 and a half years and aims to continue the progress he has made. He said he brought over 24 years of business sense to the city.

“I intend to continue the direction we have been going, investing into our city’s future while protecting the lifestyle our citizens have grown accustomed to,” said Gerry.

During his term he completed multiple projects that were stalled or in jeopardy of losing financing, including the I-Plant wastewater treatment plant and the Yakima River Gateway project at the east entrance of West Richland.

Gerry said I-Plant will handle waste streams from distilleries, creameries and breweries, expanding the economic opportunities for the Red Mountain Center.

“In this case it was truly a build it and they will come,” said Gerry.

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After the construction of the I-Plant, Crimson Wine of California purchased land at Red Mountain Center and started construction on a wine production facility capable of producing 100,000 cases annually. West Richland is now home for four wine producers and one distillery.

“With the I-Plant processing the industry’s waster stream, another win is we have added 20 years of capacity to the municipal waster treatment plant,” he said.

The Yakima River Gateway project was in jeopardy of losing it’s funding through a Washington state Recreation and Conservation Office grant.

“I asked staff to go into overdrive in an effort to save the project,” said Gerry.

Construction is now underway for the 50 parking stalls, restroom facilities, ADA accessible ramp to the river, boat launch, and picnic area.

In January 2014 Gerry said he asked staff to do a feasibility study on a new city shop and public works facility since the existing city campus outgrew its use. The current project will relocate the entire city campus to the Belmont Business District.

“This is just the start of the city’s efforts to revitalize the Van Giessen corridor,” said Gerry.

He also said since he took office the city has paid off over $1.2 million in bonds and loans, saving tax payers approximately $200,000 in interest costs.