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City seeks grant funding to support commercial, retail growth

April 4, 2024

By: Katherine Trowbridge

The City of Connell is seeking $5.5 million in grant funding to support commercial and retail growth. City Administrator Cathleen Koch shared that the goal is to have funding to get the infrastructure put in on the city’s property (ie: water, sewer, streets) so that it becomes an attractive element to simply be able to come in and put a building on.

The property, located behind Connell Oil across from CBHA and visible from Highway 395, is being promoted for commercial/retail space. Koch stated, “Hopefully, it brings in good services like a restaurant, stores, shops, or entertainment.” She continued speaking of hearing from the community about the amenities Connell used to have and what they wish they had here, “We’re trying to find a way to spur new activity and make Connell viable.”

The city has already received letters of support from Franklin County, the Port of Pasco, Lamb Weston, and the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce. All four letters highlighted the need for jobs in our community, revitalization and growth, while emphasizing and encouraging support for the project.

“We have been members of the community for a long time, and recently invested in Connell by rebuilding our potato sheds. We encourage you to provide funding for the infrastructure project to build commercial opportunities and help Connell continue to revitalize and grow,” stated Kyle Donaldson - Plant Manager, Lamb Weston Connell, “We are actively engaged with the City of Connell and highly supportive of their efforts to develop important public infrastructure that will attract new business to the area.”

Chamber Manager Bevon Davis stated, “While agriculture remains the bedrock of our community, we recognize the need for diversification. The recent railroad interchange upgrades, secured through past funding, exemplify this commitment to expanding our capabilities. The improved infrastructure for rail freight makes us a key player in the regional supply chain.” He continued, “The Chamber recognizes the opportunity to expand employment and commercial offerings by encouraging atypical industries to the area such as high tech, science, and emerging technology. We believe that Connell can be a leader and a beacon for innovation all while maintaining the small town feel and strong community bonds it is known for.”

Koch is writing grants on behalf of the city to obtain funding and support at the state (.09 funds) and federal level (funds available through Senator Maria Cantwell’s office) As a first time applicant, the city could have a unique advantage. “We’ve never asked for money like this before,” Koch said.

This project, “Connell’s T-3 project - Tractors, Trucks, and Trains,” as it has been named to make it viable to lawmakers, will focus on street and utility improvements, as well as platted rights of way, adjacent to commercially zoned city property. These enhancements aim to revitalize and stimulate growth within the community. To read more details on the project, look at the site plan, real estate available- you can do so at: and click the Connell T-3 Project, under announcements.

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