On April 5, 2010, an all-island Special Meeting was called to discuss and vote to apply for
a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Loan to reconstruct the Raft Island Bridge.
It was presented as a viable funding option (4% rate for 40-years) should the RIIA General Membership vote to move forward on a decision to reconstruct the Raft Island bridge.
As part of the application process, a 2010 Bridge Construction Plan and Cost Estimate was
completed. In addition, all NEPA requirements were met including a 2010 Biological
Evaluation as part of the application packet.
In October of 2010, we learned that our application for USDA funding was denied.
Preliminary reports suggest that Obama's 2011 Budget will not re-fund the loan program
at the same "stimulus level" that was approved in 2010. In spite of strong letters of
support for our project from Congressman Dicks, US Senator Patty Murray and State
Senator Kilmer, nearly 70% of the USDA funds went to the Tribes.
The Raft Island Bridge Committee continues to investigate other funding sources and
loan opportunities. If you have input, or would like to join the committee, please email
the Committee or contact the Island Manager.