Pend Oreille County, Spokane County, Spokane Valley and Walla Walla awarded funds for environmental analysis to support economic development at proposed manufacturing sites.
Olympia, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Commerce today announced $485,000 in advanced planning grants to aid four proposed manufacturing projects in eastern Washington. The grants will help Pend Oreille County, Spokane County, the city of Spokane Valley and Walla Walla County move forward with environmental analysis and permitting activities associated with development in four key economic sectors: clean technology, aerospace, forest products or agriculture and food manufacturing, and heavy manufacturing.
“Washington state is blessed with a diverse economy and resources to attract and sustain businesses and good jobs. However, opportunities for growth look very different from the coast to urban Puget Sound to the Palouse and beyond,” said Commerce Director Brian Bonlender. “These strategic investments strengthen communities in eastern Washington. Strong public-private collaboration is streamlining regulatory processes and providing businesses and local governments with the tools they need to make decisions and move forward.”
“These funds are critical to support our commitment to timely and meaningful public involvement in this opportunity to secure important new investment and jobs for our community,” said Commissioner Mike Manus, chair of the Pend Oreille County Board of Commissioners. “In particular, we look forward to reaching out to the Kalispel Tribe to develop an action plan that will ensure all of our questions about potential impacts on the environment are answered.”
A competitive selection process yielded the four grant recipients from a pool of nine applications asking for a total of almost $1 million. The 2016 Legislature gave Commerce’s Growth Management Services program authority to award up to $500,000 to assist cities and counties east of the Cascade Mountains to advance environmental analysis and permitting activities in and around current and large future manufacturing sites and other key economic growth centers.
Criteria used in evaluating applications included size, readiness to proceed, local funds leverage, jobs retained or created, projects of statewide significance, use of vacant or underutilized industrial sites, support from local economic development organizations and consistency with regional economic development strategies.
Proposals that did not win funding are in the cities of Spokane, Othello, Grandview and Union Gap.
Contact: Penny Thomas, Commerce Press Office, (206) 256-6106