Background

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.

Local Impact

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Nearly 2,000 projects funded.
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Over $2.9 billion in loans.

Board Meetings

The next meeting of the Public Works Board will be Friday, May 1, 2020. This meeting will be held via Skype. More information can be found on our About Us page. 

Upcoming Events

2020 Public Works Board Regional Training Events!

March 25 – Ellensburg (CANCELLED)
April 7 & 8 – Auburn (CANCELLED)
May 13 – Long Beach (CANCELLED)
June 9 & 10 – Spokane (CANCELLED)

For more information, visit our Technical Assistance and Training page.

Latest News

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.

Thank you,

The PWB

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.

Aligning the Public Works Board and State Priorities
Multi-system Projects for Multiple Benefits 

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.

1/24/20Stakeholder 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.

Latest News Archive

Senator Honeyford visits the site of Terrace Heights Sewer District's completed PWB Emergency Loan project. From left to right: Gray & Osborne Engineer Nancy Wetch, Commissioner Frank Sliger, Commissioner Robert Linker, Senator Honeyford, and Commissioner Harold Sliger.
Senator Honeyford visits the site of Terrace Heights Sewer District's completed PWB Emergency Loan project. From left to right: Gray & Osborne Engineer Nancy Wetch, Commissioner Frank Sliger, Commissioner Robert Linker, Senator Honeyford, and Commissioner Harold Sliger.
Gov. Inslee signing Senate Bill 5511, May 13, 2019
Governor Inslee signs 2SSB 5511 into law, establishing a new broadband program within PWB.
The PWB Project Manager Map has been updated with the arrival of new staff.