Colonel Anthony Wright is saying goodbye to his manicured garden and waterfront home for good. He’s ending his three-year tour of duty as the operator of the Ballard Locks for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The “Colonel’s Residence” at the Locks
“I’m proud to say I have the best yard in Ballard,” Wright joked as he took the floor at Wednesday night’s Ballard District Council meeting. Wright has been living at the “Colonel’s Residence” at the Locks for the past three years.
“We have a great group of people working at the Locks, there are about 40 of us, doing everything from gardening to maintenance. They’re a key part of the community.”
He says people always ask him what it’s like to live there. “It’s a great place to live, sometimes it’s like a zoo where people kind of walk by and look at the district engineer in his native habitat,” Wright said with a laugh. “But it’s a very special place, and my family and I have really enjoyed our time there.”
Wright said the Locks made the President’s budget, and will remain fully funded for the next two years.
The 100-year-old Ballard Locks is one of the busiest entry-points in the country, and Wright said they’re in desperate need of a rehabilitation study. However, the process is “sloth-like and lethargic,” according to Wright.
“We’ve started the process, and we have the money to do it. Wright said he’s confident that “the investment back into the Locks will result in a benefit back to the economy.”
Wright said he plans to stay in the area when he finishes his assignment.
Contributor Meghan Walker is an intern through the University of Washington School of Communications