Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board invests over $660,000 to support community, economic and rural broadband development

  • September 19, 2019

Clallam, Grant, Okanogan, Pend Oreille, Skagit, Spokane, Stevens and Thurston counties to benefit from grants and low-interest loans.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approved $252,000 in loans and $409,000 in grants for economic development, public infrastructure development and economic feasibility studies targeting business growth, job creation, and rural broadband development.

  • Clallam County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Port Angeles for the Clallam County Broadband Feasibility Study to assess needs in the county and its communities, and identify next steps needed to provide broadband access to unserved and underserved areas. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • Grant County – $252,000 loan and $84,000 grant to the Port of Royal Slope for the Waterline Extension East project. This project will extend the port’s water main approximately 2,400 feet along the county’s road easement, which will include fire hydrants, piping, valves, connections and other infrastructure to support Torklift International. Committed private partner Torklift International estimates an investment of $2,282,000 in the expansion project which is expected to create 178 jobs within five years. CERB funds are matched by $84,000 in local resources.
  • Okanogan County – $50,000 grant to Okanogan County for the Okanogan County Broadband Action Team Planning Study project. This project will develop a Broadband Strategic Plan to establish a countywide and tribal vision for broadband, inventory existing assets and conditions, prioritize areas of deficiencies, identify emerging opportunities and mitigate threats to assets associated with the rural character and culture of the region. CERB funds are matched by $17,000 in local resources.
  • Pend Oreille County – $50,000 grant to Pend Oreille County Public Utility District #1 for the North Pend Oreille County Feasibility Study project. This project consists of a broadband feasibility study in North Pend Oreille County to identify stakeholders and community partners, determine fiber broadband availability, inventory current assets and demands, map all broadband infrastructure in the county, and review applicable and existing broadband expansion models. CERB funds are matched by $17,000 in local resources.
  • Skagit County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Anacortes for the Port of Anacortes Marine Terminal Modernization Study project. This consists of a feasibility study to evaluate options for modernizing and improving efficiencies at the marine terminal, including Piers 1 and 2, and Curtis Wharf. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • Spokane County – $25,000 grant to the city of Spokane Valley for the Appleway Trail Economic Development Study. This consists of a feasibility study to identify whether the newly constructed Appleway Trail could be used as a catalyst to spur economic development along the Sprague corridor. CERB funds are matched by $8,333 in local resources.
  • Stevens County – $50,000 grant to the city of Chewelah for the Sand Canyon Development Study project. This project consists of a study to determine the economic feasibility of developing approximately 30 acres of vacant land adjacent to the east side of Chewelah Municipal Airport, and to study public infrastructure necessities. CERB funds are matched by $16,700 in local resources.
  • Thurston County – $50,000 grant to the Nisqually Indian Tribe for the Nisqually Broadband Regional Feasibility Project – Proposal 1. This study will review the potential viability of a fiber-optic Open Access Network (OPN) in the Thurston County towns of Roy, Yelm and McKenna, and surrounding areas. 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 Board is pleased to collaborate with each of these communities to help with planning for future economic development,” said CERB Chair Randy Hayden.

Dr. Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce, said
“Partnering with local leaders, CERB is a frontline resource for community infrastructure projects and strengthening regional economies. The emphasis on planning for broadband in this round of grants is especially important for business expansion and educational and healthcare equity across Washington state.”

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 ($36 to $1) return on CERB investment.

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 and Tribal Liaison

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

Local Contacts:

Port of Port Angeles: Jesse Waknitz, Environmental Manager, (360) 417-3452, JesseW@portofpa.com

Port of Royal Slope: Cathy Potter, Executive Director, (509) 346-2317, portofroyal@centurytel.net

Okanogan County: Lalena Johns, Clerk of the Board, (509) 422-7100, ljohns@co.okanogan.wa.us

Pend Oreille PUD #1: Mark Scott, Water Systems Manager, (509) 447-6375, mscott@popud.org

Port of Anacortes: Becky Darden, Contracts Administrator, (360) 299-1831, Becky@portofanacortes.com

City of Spokane Valley: Chaz Bates, Senior Planner, (509) 720-5337, CBates@spokanevalley.org

City of Chewelah: Dorothy Knauss, Mayor, (509) 935-8311, Mayor@cityofchewelah.org

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

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