Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board invests $725,000 in four counties

  • November 19, 2020

Funding will support rural technology, innovation and broadband development studies, and a $16+ million rail construction project expected to create 103 jobs

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) today approved $488,750 in low-interest loans and $236,250 in grants for economic development, public infrastructure development and economic feasibility studies targeting business growth, job creation and broadband development in four communities across the state. Projects awarded funding are in the following counties:

  • Clark County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Ridgefield for the “Discovery IT3 Center” project. This study will include a strategic development plan to create the Discovery IT3 Center, a physical hub for the region’s business innovation ecosystem. CERB funds are matched by $36,000 in local resources.
  • Franklin County – $488,750 loan and a $86,250 grant to the Port of Pasco for the “Reimann Industrial Center Rail Access Project.” This project consists of construction of a rail switch in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) classification yard, approximately 500 feet of rail, and a rail crossing across Railroad Avenue. This project is expected to create 103 jobs and generate $16,675,000 in private investment. CERB funds are matched by $575,000 in local resources.
  • Skamania County – $50,000 grant to the Public Utility District No. 1 of Skamania County for the “Skamania Broadband Needs Assessment and Feasibility Study.” This will be a feasibility study for constructing fiber optic broadband infrastructure in Skamania County. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • Thurston County – $50,000 grant to the Nisqually Indian Tribe for the “Nisqually Technology Center Feasibility Project.” This will be a feasibility study to evaluate the viability of developing a technology center on the Nisqually Indian Tribe reservation. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.

“CERB projects represent an important partnership between the state and local communities resulting in enhanced economic vitality. The projects approved for funding represent the economic, cultural, and geographic diversity of our state. As we look forward to economic recovery, CERB is dedicated to helping communities and building sustainable economies.”

“CERB funding is an important catalyst for attracting private capital and securing additional public infrastructure investment that rural communities need to create  jobs and sustain long-term economic recovery,” said Washington State Commerce Director Lisa Brown.

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 $203 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 36,000 jobs, and private capital investment of a $5.8 billion – a $29-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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Contacts:

Janea Delk, CERB Executive Director & Tribal Liaison, (360) 252-0812

Penny Thomas, Commerce Communications, (360) 704-9489

Local Contacts:

Port of Ridgefield: Brent Grening, Chief Executive Officer, (360) 772-6611, bgrening@portridgefield.org

Port of Pasco: Stephen McFadden, Director of Economic Development and Marketing, (509) 537-0524, SMcFadden@portofpasco.org

Public Utility District No. 1 of Skamania County: John Goodman, General Manager, (509) 427-5126, jgoodman@skamaniapud.com

Nisqually Indian Tribe: Joe Cushman, Planning and Economic Development Director, (360) 480-0536, cushman.joe@nisqually-nsn.gov

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