Manweller secures funding in House capital budget for historic cemetery capital grant program
The Washington State House of Representatives unveiled its capital budget proposal this week which includes $515,000 for the Historic Cemetery Grant Program.
Rep. Matt Manweller does not serve on the House Capital Budget Committee, but was instrumental in getting the funding in the budget after sponsoring the legislation last year that created the grant program.
“Last session we were able to get the infrastructure in place to allow cemetery property owners, communities and nonprofits a way to preserve and maintain their historic cemeteries, but we didn't have the funding,” said Manweller, R-Ellensburg. “This year's capital budget proposal addresses that. We have more than 100 cemeteries around the state that have been neglected or that are poorly maintained and once the budget passes we can get the grant process started so the maintenance and upkeep can begin on these historic cemeteries.”
The Legislature still needs to pass the capital budget spending plan and the House and Senate will need to reach a compromise agreement. However, the Senate does fund the grant program at $500,000, just slightly less than the House version.
“I am hopeful the final capital budget will fund the program. There is a lot of history tied to our older cemeteries, and I am pleased it appears we have found a solution to help preserve and maintain them,” Manweller said.
Last session, Manweller's House Bill 2637 created the grant program in the Department of Archaeology and Historic Preservation (DAHP).
Those who want to apply for a grant can submit an application to the DAHP. The application is then transmitted to the Funeral and Cemetery Board under the Department of Licensing. The board evaluates and prioritizes the applications and sends a list of prioritized projects to the DAHP for funding.
The House Capital Budget Committee is scheduled to vote on the capital budget, House Bill 1075, Friday morning.
###Washington State House Republican Communications