CERB invests $247,500 in rural broadband development in three counties

Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board invests $247,500 in low-interest loans and grants that will support community and economic development and rural broadband development in Clallam, Okanogan, and Pacific counties.

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approved $48,750 in loans and $198,750 in grants for economic development planning and rural broadband construction in the Makah Tribe, Twisp Public Development Authority, Port of Ilwaco and the Port of Willapa Harbor.

  • Clallam County – $50,000 grant to the Makah Tribe for the Makah Tribe Communications Master Plan. This project consists of a communications master plan that outlines the design and costs to implement a phased build out, better communication/connections, and emergency preparedness for existing government, education, medical and business facilities, as well as the systematic relocation of these buildings to a tsunami-safe zone. CERB funds were matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • Okanogan County –$50,000 grant to the Twisp Public Development Authority for the Methow Valley Broadband Action Team Planning Study. This project consists of a planning study to develop a community broadband plan to identify the technical requirements to bring improved and expanded broadband to underserved communities in the Methow Valley. CERB funds were matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • Pacific County –$50,000 grant to the Port of Ilwaco for the Pacific County Broadband Assessment. This project consists of an assessment and development plan to study, evaluate and map the current internet infrastructure available in Pacific County, and to provide strategies for construction and expansion to improve current and future broadband availability and capacity. CERB funds were matched by $16,800 in local resources.
  • Pacific County – $48,750 loan and $48,750 grant to the Port Willapa Harbor for the Raymond Port Dock Fiber Optic Extension Project. This rural broadband program project consists of construction of approximately 1,500 feet of fiber from the Pacific County Public Utility District backbone system to the Raymond Port Dock Industrial Area to support the Harbor Trade and Technology Center (HTTC). The project estimates that 11 connections in the project area will have increased internet speed up to 1G/1G Mbps, and the area will increase the number of internet service providers available to four, when the project is completed. CERB funds were matched by $32,500 in local resources.

“In today’s economy, infrastructure is the foundation for economic growth and is critical to many rural communities.  CERB’s financing for infrastructure planning and construction provides support for vital projects, which will help grow the local economy in each of these communities,” said CERB Chair Randy Hayden

“Broadband equity is crucial to enabling rural and underserved communities to participate fully in our state’s overall thriving economy,” said Lisa Brown, director of the Washington State Department of Commerce. “High-speed internet connectivity strengthens communities by providing more opportunities for people to do business and access high-quality education, training, health care resources and more, however and wherever they choose.”

The release of CERB funds to these projects are 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 35,500 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.

Local contacts:

Makah Tribe: Crystal Hottowe, accounts manager, (360) 645-3292, crystal.hottowe@hotmail.com

Twisp Public Development Authority (PDA): Don Linnertz, executive director, (509) 997-3300, dlinnertz@twispworks.org

Port of Ilwaco: Tricia Needham, finance director, (360) 642-3143, tneedham@portofilwaco.org

Port of Willapa Harbor: Rebecca Chaffee, manager, (360) 942-3422, portofwh@willapabay.org

CERB contact:

Janea Delk, CERB Executive Director and Tribal Liaison

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

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