State board approves $2.4 million for rural development projects

  • January 17, 2020

Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) invests $2,478,373 in low-interest loans and grants that will support community, economic and rural broadband development in Clark, Lincoln and Whitman counties.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) announced today $1,974,742 in loans and $503,631 in grants for economic development, public infrastructure development and economic feasibility studies targeting business growth, job creation and rural broadband development.

  • Clark County – $1,224,742 loan and $216,131 grant to the Port of Camas-Washougal for the Building 20 Construction Project. This project consists of construction of a 50,000- square-foot metal pre-fab building and slab-on-grade foundation. CERB funds are matched by $5,559,127 in federal and local resources.
  • Lincoln County – $37,500 grant to Lincoln County for the Lincoln County Broadband Planning Study. This study will determine the functional and financial feasibility of making high-speed broadband available to county residents and businesses. CERB Funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
  • Whitman County – $750,000 loan and $250,000 grant to the Port of Whitman County for the Wilma Port Road Improvements project. This project consists of local access road improvements for facilities at the Port of Whitman’s Wilma site. Improvements will include reconstruction of road elements, individual site access improvements, safety improvement areas, drainage improvements and signage. The Port’s committed private partner, Craig Mountain Excavation, LLC, is investing $1,290,000 in the private project which is expected to create and retain an estimated 18 jobs within five years. CERB funds are matched by $600,297 in local resources.

“Our role is to be responsive to local needs by making timely and smart investment decisions. CERB has a proven track record for being a good steward of public money and an advocate for local communities.” said CERB Chair Randy Hayden.

“This state funding, paired with committed private and local government investments, effectively strengthens rural communities by enabling new development and more equitable economic growth across the state,” said Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce.

The release of CERB funds to these projects is contingent upon each applicant completing specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits.

Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $176 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 36,000 jobs and private capital investment of a $5.7 billion, or a $36-to-$1, return on CERB investments.

As Washington’s strategic economic development resource, CERB is focused on creating private sector jobs in partnership with local governments by financing infrastructure improvements. These improvements encourage new business development and expansion. In addition to funding construction projects, CERB provides limited funding for studies that evaluate high-priority economic development projects.

Learn more about CERB at www.commerce.wa.gov/cerb.

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CERB Contact:
Janea Delk, CERB Executive Director & Tribal Liaison
(360) 725-3151, janea.delk@commerce.wa.gov

Local Contacts:

Port of Camas-Washougal: Kim Noah, Director of Operations, (360) 335-3684, Kim@portcw.com

Lincoln County: Margie Hall, Executive Director of Lincoln County Economic Development Council, (509) 368-7085, Margie@lincolnedc.org

Port of Whitman County: Kara Riebold, Chief Operating Officer, (509) 397-3791, Kara@portwhitman.com

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