Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board invests $3.2 million in seven counties

  • July 16, 2020

State board awards funding to support community and economic development and rural broadband infrastructure in Cowlitz, Douglas, Grays Harbor, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish and Walla Walla counties.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) today approved $2,005,000 in low-interest loans and $1,170,000 in grants for economic development, public infrastructure development and economic feasibility studies targeting business growth, job creation and broadband development in eight rural communities across the state. Projects awarded funding are in the following counties:

  • Cowlitz County – $375,000 loan and a $375,000 grant to the Port of Woodland for the “Ariel to Cougar Build” project. This project consists of engineering and construction of dark fiber infrastructure on aerial poles with last-mile components between the towns of Ariel and Cougar along highway 503. CERB funds are matched by $187,500 in local resources.
  • Douglas County – $50,000 grant to the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority for the “Adaptive Reuse – Giga Watt Site Study.” This is a feasibility study to determine potential uses for a recently closed facility in the Pangborn Airport Business Park. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • Grays Harbor County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Grays Harbor for the “East T4 Cargo Yard Expansion Plan” study. This project consists of a site development plan for the 55-acre former Washington State Department of Transportation pontoon construction site. It will provide phased development alternatives with permitting matrices and infrastructure costs associated with each phase so the site can be developed and used as demand for space increases. CERB funds are matched by $20,000 in local resources.
  • Skagit County – $180,000 loan and a $60,000 grant to the Port of Skagit County for the “Lot 24 – Island Grown Construction Project.” This project consists of construction to include utilities, site work, excavation and infill to make the site pad-ready for Island Grown Farmers’ Cooperative,the port’s committed private partner in the project. The cooperative is investing $1 million in the private project. CERB funds are matched by $60,000 in local resources.
  • Skamania County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Skamania County for the “Cascade Business Park Market Feasibility Study.” This is a feasibility and marketing study to direct future development of a 42-acre undeveloped industrial/business park. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • Snohomish County – $1.5 million loan and a $500,000 grant to the Town of Darrington for the “Darrington Wood Innovation Center Construction Project.” This project consists of land acquisition, engineering and design, construction and site prep of utilities to support the construction of the Darrington Wood Innovation Center. The town’s committed private partner, Darrington Wood Innovation Center LLC, is investing $45 million in the private project. CERB funds are matched by $7,500,000 in federal, state and local resources.
  • Walla Walla County – Funding for two projects:
    • $50,000 grant to the City of College Place for a planning study for the city-owned Flex Light-Industrial Building. This is a feasibility study examining three sites to determine the appropriate location, size, costs and specifications for a flexible light-industrial structure that would be owned by the city. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.
    • $35,000 grant to the Port of Walla Walla for the “Walla Walla County Broadband Feasibility Study.” This study will evaluate opportunities to develop last-mile connections to existing infrastructure and to identify locations that do not have adequate infrastructure to serve the communities and industries throughout the county. CERB funds are matched by $15,000 in local resources.

“CERB projects represent an important partnership between the state and local communities resulting in enhanced economic vitality.  In these uncertain times of COVID-19, the Board is pleased to be able collaborate with each of these communities to support future economic development,” said CERB Chair Randy Hayden.

“These state funds provide needed financial support, strengthening rural communities as they chart a future that meets their desired goals for sustainable economic development and job creation,” 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 – 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.

Contact:

Janea Delk, CERB Executive Director & Tribal Liaison

(360) 725-3151, janea.delk@commerce.wa.gov

Local Contacts:

Port of Woodland: Jennifer Wray-Keene, Executive Director, (360) 225-6555, jkeene@portofwoodland.com

Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority: Ron Cridlebaugh, Director of Economic and Business Development, (509) 884-4700, ron@cdrpa.org

Port of Grays Harbor: Kayla Dunlap, Public Affairs Manager, (360) 533-9590, kdunlap@portgrays.org

Port of Skagit County: Sara Young, Director of Planning and Facilities, (360) 757-0011, sara@portofskagit.com

Port of Skamania County: Pat Albaugh, Executive Director, (509) 427-5484, pat@portofskamania.org

Town of Darrington: Dianne Allen, Clerk-Treasurer, (360) 436-1131, dianne.allen@darringtonwa.us

City of College Place: Mike Rizzitiello, City Administrator, (509) 394-8506, mrizzitiello@ci.college-place.wa.us

Port of Walla Walla: Patrick Reay, Executive Director, (509) 525-3100, pr@portwallawalla.com

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