The Legislature created the Public Works Board in partnership with local governments to assist in addressing infrastructure needs. They use a dedicated funding pool to offer low-interest financing in a revolving loan program. A citizens’ board of infrastructure representatives manage the program.
6/24/20 – If you missed the chance to participate in this month’s broadband webinars, they are now available for streaming.
6/22/20 – To accommodate the Governor’s directed furloughs, Public Works Board offices are closed on:
Monday, June 29
Friday, July 10
Friday, July 17
Friday, July 24
Additional furlough days will occur through the month of November, and dates for those closures will be announced.
6/5/20 – The Washington State Department of Commerce’s Building Green Cities Guidebook: Incentivizing Low Impact Development (LID) Beyond Permit Requirements presents ways that local governments can incentivize developers to voluntarily incorporate LID on projects in urban growth centers. Using input from interviews, a project advisory committee, and social marketing research, we assessed perceived barriers and motivators for developers to provide guidance and policies to help local governments incentivize developers. The Guidebook includes tools and outreach materials that local governments can utilize to encourage developers to go beyond existing stormwater requirements; including factsheets for best management practices and a variety of incentive programs. To view or download the Guidebook, please visit: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/serving-communities/growth-management/guidebooks-and-resources/
6/3/20 – The June 5 Public Works Board meeting will be live streamed on TVW.
6/1/20 – The Public Works Board will be hosting two broadband focused webinars in June.
The first webinar is a stakeholder roundtable on June 17 from 1:30 to 3:00. This webinar focuses on policy development and implementation. It is designed to be an open discussion about completed work, where the program is headed, and current stakeholder efforts and projects.
The second webinar is on June 18 from 1:30 to 3:00 and is a broadband construction grant and loan workshop for those interested in applying for Public Works Board broadband funding. The Board anticipates opening this funding cycle on July 13, 2020. Workshop participants will receive clear guidance on completing a successful application, including the statutory pre-requisite activities that must be completed prior to applying.
5/15/20 – The PWB is proud to present their Spring 2020 Newsletter. Included within is an update for the PWB broadband construction program, and a reminder that the program’s governing RCW requires applicants to contact local Internet service providers (ISPs) near the proposed project area. This contact must request the ISP’s plan to upgrade broadband service in the project area to speeds that meet or exceed the state’s definition of broadband service within the time frame of the proposed project. This contact must be made a minimum of six-weeks prior to the submission of an application for funding from the PWB, and documentation of this interaction must be submitted with the application.
5/14/20 – The Department of Health (representing a multi-agency partnership with Commerce, Ecology, the Public Works Board, and the Utilities and Transportation Commission) has released a financial impact survey for public water and wastewater systems. The survey seeks to understand how purveyors of these public utilities and their revenues have been impacted during the pandemic. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey by May 26. If you have any questions, please email DWSRF@doh.wa.gov.
5/1/20 – Today’s Public Works Board meeting will be livestreamed on TVW.
4-7-20 – The Public Works Board has extended the deadline to apply for Broadband Feasibility and Outreach Grants to June 1, 2020. “We want applicants focused on keeping themselves and their communities safe, without the worry of missing deadlines,” said Broadband Program Director Westall.
3-25-20 – The Department of Health has developed resources for community water operations staffing, monitoring, and service shut-off limitation. They can be found on the department’s Drinking Water main page under the heading “COVID-19 Guidance for Drinking Water System Owners and Operators”. The Department of Health also offers a comprehensive list of emergency resources for water systems.
3/13/20 – As the COVID-19 virus continues to impact across Washington, the Public Works Board and team will continue to be of service to local communities. We want to share some steps we are taking to keep you informed and safe during this outbreak.
Contract administration and management – Staff is available during normal business hours to answer your questions and process reimbursements.
Broadband rulemaking – To minimize the risk of exposure to the community and staff, the public hearing for broadband rulemaking will proceed online only. The submission of written comments is highly recommended. These comments can be emailed to Connie.Rivera@commerce.wa.gov or faxed to 360-586-8440 until March 27, 2020. Skype participation is available on March 31, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm. The call in number is 360-407-3813 and the conference ID is 1345139.
Board meetings – Beginning with our April 3, 2020 meeting, the PWB will hold its monthly Board meetings via Skype. Agendas will be posted to our website and distributed electronically.
SYNC – The April 2, 2020 meeting will take place remotely via Skype.
Tech Teams – Tech Team requests are accepted on an ongoing basis. Scheduled Tech Team meetings will be rescheduled or take place remotely, via Skype or other means.
Regional trainings – All four regional training events scheduled from March through June 2020 are cancelled. We look forward to interacting with communities and discussing projects and programs at the next Infrastructure Assistance Coordination Council meeting.
We welcome your questions and comments about the PWB and look forward to meeting in person once circumstances allow. Please follow the state Department of Health website for comprehensive information on the COVID-19 virus.
3/11/20 – With continued concern for the proliferation of COVID-19 from federal, state, and local health organizations, the Public Works Board regrets to announce the cancellation of our Regional Training events for this year. This is not a step we take lightly, but it is consistent with the actions of other organizations. We apologize for this inconvenience, and thank everyone for their understanding.
2/18/20 – The date has been set for the broadband program WAC Public Hearing. It will take place at the Department of Commerce in Olympia on March 31, 2020. Visit our Broadband Financing page for more information.
2/14/20 – The Public Works Board is now accepting applications for Broadband Feasibility and Outreach grants. Visit our Broadband Financing page for more information and to apply.
2/14/20 – The Public Works Board is on Twitter! Follow us @WAStatePWB.
2/10/20 – The Public Works Board is excited to announce that registration is open for their 2020 regional training events! Four free training events, one per month, will be offered in locations around the state from March to June. To view more information, and to register, please visit our Technical Assistance and Training page.
2/10/20 – The Public Works Board is proud to present their Winter 2020 Newsletter.
1/31/20 – Ever wonder how the work of the Public Works Board aligns with state priorities? Have you wanted to see how multi-system projects can result in multiple benefits for your jurisdiction? The PWB has prepared fact sheets for these topics.
1/24/20 – The period to submit questions regarding the Public Works Board Request for Information has closed. Responses to submitted questions are available here.
1/24/20 – Stakeholder Outreach Comments and Responses for the PWB Broadband Program are available to view. Visit our Broadband Financing page to follow the Rulemaking process and for the last information about the program.
1/16/20 – The Public Works Board is proud to present the 2019 PWB Reference Guide. This file is large, and is better viewed after download. However, if you are viewing it online and experience blank pages, please refresh your browser.
1/8/20 – The Public Works Board has issued a Request for Information (RFI) to solicit feedback from the vendor community regarding software that can perform rapid broadband designs and financial analysis for communities considering apply for funding from the Washington State Public Works Board. The Broadband Feasibility and Gap Analysis tool would include an analysis of the gap between current broadband speeds experienced by the user and the state’s definition of unserved. To review the RFI, please visit our Broadband Finance page.
1/2/20 – The Public Works Board has approved several policy changes related to the administration of its traditional infrastructure funding program, some of which will require an update to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC). The Board is currently conducting rulemaking activities to complete the changes. Please see our Public Works Financing page for more information. Please note that this does not involve the new broadband program. The broadband program will have a separate public hearing.
12/6/19 – The Public Works Board approved $450,000 in funding for Broadband Planning-Feasibility Study Grants. The Board received 16 applications totaling $775,000 in requests. They approved all projects that scored above minimum rating threshold.
When reflecting on this funding cycle, Board Chair Scott Hutsell stated that, “This is another step towards accomplishing the Governor’s vision of all Washington residents being served with quality broadband access. In our modern society, access to broadband internet is a vital resource that touches all aspects of life from personal health and safety to education to economic welfare.”
For the ranked list of applicants, click here.
11/5/19 – PWB is happy to announce the hiring of Karin Berkholtz as its new Executive Director. Karin joins the team from the Puget Sound Partnership, and brings a diverse background in public administration to the position. Her first day will be November 18, 2019.
11/1/19 – PWB welcomes Gary Rowe to the Board. He will fill Position 12, a general public position. Gary has worked for over 25 years in Jefferson County as public works director, deputy county administrator, and a variety of other roles. He spent six years as County Administrator in Skagit County, and ten years as Managing Director of the Washington State Association of County Engineers in Olympia. Gary is a past-president of both the Washington State Association of County Engineers, and the National Association of County Engineers. He was awarded the Washington State Rural County Engineer of the Year in 1995.
PWB also welcomes Mason County Commissioner Sharon Trask to the Board. She will fill Position 4, a County Elected Official position. Commissioner Trask serves on multiple boards, councils, and commissions including the Oakland Bay Clean Water Committee, the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency, the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council, and the WSAC Legislative Steering Committee to name a few. She is also an active volunteer with Turning Pointe, Lion’s Club, and the Community Emergency Response Team.
10/10/19 – PWB is proud to announce that it will be accepting applications for broadband planning-feasibility study grants. The cycle starts on October 11, 2019, and closes at midnight on November 14, 2019.
Broadband Planning-Feasibility Study Grants are for strategic planning activities that facilitate the deployment of broadband service in unserved areas across Washington. The total amount available is $500,000, with a maximum award of $50,000 per applicant.
10/1/19 – PWB is happy to announce the arrival of Shelley Westall, Broadband Program Director, and Jeff Takahashi, Broadband Program Manager. They will be leading the development and execution of PWB’s broadband program.
9/30/19 – Fact Sheets for our latest round of construction awards are beginning to come in. Click to view them.