Centralia Coal Transition Board Supports the City of Vader

Werden Park, a place to bring the community together  

Centralia, (February 3, 2022) In September 2021 the Centralia Coal Transition Board approved a grant award of $30,000.00 to support enhancement of the Werden Park located in Vader, Washington. The Park was recently renovated with modern LED lighting, upgraded parking and ADA compliant sidewalks. The grant from the transition board will support the costs of a covered shelter adjacent to the playground. The Werden Park project is a collaborative effort between community residents and leaders and serves as a gathering place to bring the community together. Other grant funding partners include the state of Washington and BNSF.

J.K. Werden Memorial Park was established in 2005 through the generous donation of Vivian Werden, whose in-laws, Bertha and Joseph Werden, had homesteaded in Vader in the 1920s. The city park property is also the home of the City’s 1906 Historic Jail, now used as a museum, which is one of the few original buildings remaining in town.

The Economic & Community Development Board was formed as a result of the 2011 Agreement between TransAlta and the state of Washington. This agreement allows for the Centralia plant to move away from coal-fired operations with one unit shutting down in December 2020 and the second unit in December 2025. TransAlta is investing $55 million into Lewis and South Thurston Counties and the state of Washington through the Coal Transition Boards.

Overview of the Centralia Coal Transition Funding Boards:

Annual payments for the funding boards have been made since 2012 with the last payment due December 31, 2023.  The opportunity to start flowing dollars into projects became effective December 31, 2015.

Weatherization Board ($10M): established to fund energy efficiency and weatherization for the residents, employees, business, non-profit organizations and local governments within Lewis County and South Thurston County; up to $1 million shall be allocated to fund residential energy efficiency and weatherization measures for low-income and moderate-income residents of Lewis County and South Thurston County;

Economic & Community Development Board ($20M): established to fund education, retraining, economic development, and community enhancement; at least $5M shall be allocated to fund education, retraining and economic development specifically targeting the needs of workers displaced from the Centralia facility;

Energy Technology Board ($25M): established to fund energy technologies with the potential to create environmental benefits to the state of Washington.