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 manages the program.
The Public Hearing for PWB traditional programs is set for January 22, 2020 from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Department of Commerce, 1011 Plum Street SE, Olympia, WA 98504.
Please note that this does not include the new broadband program.There will be a separate public hearing for that program later this year.
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.
8/27/19 – The Public Works Board is currently recruiting qualified applicants for its broadband program. Click the link below to view qualifications, and to apply.
8/12/19 – PWB presents a Special Edition Newsletter
8/2/19 – The Public Works Board approves funding for Pre-Construction and Construction loans.
Pre-Construction loans: In this category, jurisdictions submitted nine applications for a total request of $3,738,831. All nine of the applications passed the minimum scoring threshold. The Public Works Board approved full funding for all nine applications.
Construction loans: In this category, jurisdictions submitted sixty-five applications for a total request of $245,000,694. Fifty-seven applications passed the minimum scoring threshold. The Public Works Board considered a rated and ranked list of applications, and approved applications for funding until funds were exhausted. This enabled the Board to award twenty-one construction projects, for a total award of $81,527,448.
When reflecting on this funding cycle, and the state of Washington infrastructure, Board Chair Hutsell stated that, “This is a great time for Washington. The importance of infrastructure is gaining recognition at all levels, and this funding cycle is a start to working on the issues facing the state. The cross-section of projects represented in these applications and awards is indicative of the need in all systems and areas of the state.” He went on to say, “Hopefully this is only the beginning. We will continue, with our partner agencies, to help address the needs of the state through technical assistance, training, and financing.”
The Public Works Board has already begun preparing a supplemental budget request for this legislative session. In it, they are requesting additional funding to offer a construction cycle next year.
8/2/19 – Washington Rural Broadband Workshop events are coming in September. These free events are open to the public, but space is limited. Participants must pre-register for programs in Olympia or Davenport. For more information, contact Phili.Eggman@usda.gov.
7/25/19 – The Public Works Board and its Sync partners are please to announce the release of the finalized Introductory Guide to Value Planning. We would like to thank all of those who participated in testing and reviewing this product. Further information on Sync and its efforts can be found on the Sync tab of the PWB website.
7/12/19 – The cycle for pre-construction and construction funding applications is now closed. We received over 70 applications, with a total request for funding of approximately $250 million. Awards will be announced after the August 2, 2019 PWB Board meeting.
6/21/19 – PWB is proud to present their Summer Newsletter.
5/13/19 – Today the Governor signed 2SSB 5511 into law. This establishes a new broadband program within the Public Works Board. The broadband program will be a competitive grant and loan program for last-mile and middle-mile infrastructure. We are committed to making this program a success, and are anticipating six to nine months of rulemaking and program development in collaboration with the Statewide Broadband Office. Once this process is complete, we will announce broadband application cycles on pwb.wa.gov.
The Governor’s Office and the Public Works Board are actively seeking candidates for Board Member vacancies—current and future. If you are interested in helping Washington communities to receive the financial and technical assistance they need for critical public health, safety, and environmental infrastructure, this opportunity is for you. Please visit the Governor’s Boards and Commissions webpage to apply