Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board invests $1.1 million in three counties

State board awards funding to support proposed Friday Harbor marine tech center construction and feasibility studies for Pend Oreille business park and Nisqually broadband projects

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) today approved $750,000 in low-interest loans and $350,000 in grants for economic development, public infrastructure development and economic feasibility studies targeting business growth, job creation and broadband development in three rural communities across the state. Projects awarded funding are in the following counties:

  • Pend Oreille County – $50,000 grant to Pend Oreille County for the “Pend Oreille Business Park Feasibility Study.” This study will include infrastructure planning and identification of easements and access points for a future business park on the 240-acre South Bench property located south of the town of Newport. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.
  • San Juan County – $750,000 loan and a $250,000 grant to the Port of Friday Harbor for the “Port of Friday Harbor Marine Technical Center.” This project consists of site development and construction of an approximately 15,000-square-foot Marine Technical Center building on Port-owned land. This project is expected to create 42 jobs and generate $2 million in private investment. CERB funds are matched by $1 million in local resources.
  • Thurston County – $50,000 grant to the Nisqually Indian Tribe for the “Nisqually Broadband Regional Feasibility Study – Proposal 3.” This study will review the potential viability of a Fiber-Optic Open Access Network (OPN) in the Thurston County town of Tenino, west to Interstate 5, and the surrounding areas north to the Olympia Airport, to include analysis of the project concept, financial feasibility, permitting requirements, regional market, and sustainability. CERB funds are matched by $16,667 in local resources.

“Tools like CERB help Washington businesses succeed, by supporting jobs and increasing our state’s competitiveness. CERB’s dedication to helping communities and building sustainable economies statewide is even more vital, as we look forward to our economic recovery,” said CERB Chair Randy Hayden.

“CERB is an essential partner with local public and private investors in strengthening Washington’s rural communities,” said Washington State Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “Infrastructure development, especially expansion of broadband, is critical for an equitable statewide economic recovery that provides access to opportunities for all.”

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.

Commerce contacts:

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

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

Local Contacts:

Pend Oreille County: Craig Jackson, Director of Public Works, (509) 207-9520, cjackson@pendoreille.org

Port of Friday Harbor: Todd Nicholson, Executive Director, (360) 749-0664, ToddN@PortFH.org

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

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