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Washington Community Economic Revitalization Board invests $4.4 million in five counties

Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown recently appointed former Palouse Mayor Michael Echanove as the new chair of the Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB). In addition to serving as mayor and city council member from 1994-2019, Echanove is currently employed at Washington State University’s Pullman Campus. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho.

CERB chair Michael Echanove photo

Michael Echanove

“Michael brings a unique blend of experience in local government and rural community and economic that is ideally suited to CERB’s focus on creating public-private sector partnerships to finance key infrastructure projects that enable business expansion and job growth. We at Commerce look forward to collaborating with him and the Board in their work strengthening Washington’s rural communities,” Brown said.

Major port projects in Skagit and Douglas counties among six proposals approved for funding statewide 

OLYMPIA, WA – The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) today approved $3,790,600 in low-interest loans and $630,200 in grants for economic development and public infrastructure improvements in five counties. Projects awarded funding are located in Douglas, Kittitas, Lewis, Spokane, and Skagit counties and will spur business growth and job creation.

  • Douglas County – $2,500,000 loan to the Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority for the “Trades District Construction Project,” consisting of engineering, design, permitting and construction of 25 small industrial buildings on existing foundations, including retrofitting existing and partially completed buildings to include enclosing the building, adding a rollup door, ADA restrooms, and meeting energy standards. An estimated 75 full time jobs are expected to be created by this project. CERB funds are matched by $8,990,967 in federal and local resources.
  • Kittitas County – $50,000 grant to the Ellensburg Business Development Authority, dba Ellensburg CenterFuse for the “Wood Products Expansion Plan” to assess the need for and impact of an expanded wood products sector and the feasibility of building a wood products business park. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
  • Kittitas County – $50,000 grant to the Ellensburg Business Development Authority, dba Ellensburg CenterFuse for the “I-90 West Interchange Development Study.” This project consists of a study to identify obstacles and opportunities for private development of undeveloped land at Ellensburg’s I-90 West Interchange. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
  • Lewis County – $50,000 grant to the Port of Chehalis for the “Dawson Road Development Project Study” to develop plans for a multi-use commercial structure for commercial and industrial use. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
  • Skagit County – $1,290,600 loan and a $430,200 grant to the Port of Skagit County for the “NW Mills Expansion Project.” This project includes construction of Port-owned infrastructure, such as utilities, site work, excavation of unsuitable soils, and infill of soil materials to provide a build-ready site for Northwest Mills and Specialty Grains SPC. An estimated 34 full time jobs are expected to be created by this project. CERB funds leveraged $21,500,000 in private investment by NW Mills and Specialty Grains SPC. CERB funds are matched by $430,200 in local resources.
  • Spokane County – $50,000 grant to the Spokane Conservation District for the “Phase 3 – Scale House Market Plan,” a feasibility study for the design and renovation of an existing 2,800-square-foot building to accommodate a commercial kitchen and market vendors. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.

“CERB was created by the Legislature 40 years ago and has earned a solid reputation for making sound investments in economic development-driven public infrastructure supporting business development and job opportunities for the citizens of our State.  With today’s investments CERB continues to build the economy of our local communities and contribute to the future workforce of our Washington.” said CERB Chair Michael Echanove.

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. If you are a Washington local government or federally recognized Tribe and have project ideas, please reach out to Janea Stark or Leslie Wolff.

Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $220 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 39,000 jobs, and private capital investment of $6.3 billion – a $29-to-$1 return on CERB investments. Read the 2020 CERB Legislative Report and the 2020 CERB Rural Broadband Legislative Report to learn more.

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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