OLYMPIA, WA -- The Washington State Department of Commerce recently awarded $2.5 million in grants to six projects that will expand the state’s portfolio of project-ready industrial sites and incentivize private investment.
These one-time grants support engineering studies, permitting and site due diligence activities designed to accelerate development of manufacturing activity, creating economic opportunity and jobs, particularly in rural communities. The Building Economic Strength Through Manufacturing (BEST) Act passed by the 2021 Washington Legislature, provides a framework for the state to add 300,000 new manufacturing jobs over the next 10 years. These grants help support that goal.
Projects including the Pasco airport, East Omak corridor study, Lummi Indian Business Park, Wallula Gap Business Park, and Watershed Business Park were each awarded $416,000.
The Tri-Cities Airport (Franklin County): Due diligence study and engineering master plan for property around the airport will be conducted by the Port of Pasco. Aerospace and advanced manufacturing opportunities are of key consideration for this 460-acre site within the rural county.
“Manufacturing is an important part of growing an equitable state economy with family wage jobs that strengthen communities,” said Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “This funding for pre-development planning adds competitive value to potential sites, encouraging additional private and local investment that will bring these projects, and the jobs they will create, online as quickly as possible.”
The Port of Pasco also received $3.6 million in federal funding for their Reimann Industrial Center Last Mile Rail Project. These federal funds will go towards constructing 6,100 feet of industrial rail that will serve the Darigold project and future businesses that locate on the Port’s remaining land at the Reimann.
The FY 2023 Congressionally Directed Spending approved for the Reimann Last Mile Industrial Rail project will fill the final funding gap in a $25 million project that has been funded, up until now, with committed local and state funding.
“The Port of Pasco has been fortunate to have strong support for the development of the Reimann
Industrial Center from multiple community partners,” Executive Director Randy Hayden said. “Darigold is the single largest project to locate at a Port of Pasco industrial center. Winning this project wouldn’t have been possible without the support and infrastructure investments made by the City of Pasco, Franklin County, Franklin PUD, several state legislators, and now our congressional delegation.”
To bring public utilities and infrastructure to the Reimann, the Port will reconstruct and widen Railroad Avenue, install municipal water and sewer, and relocate a natural gas pipeline.
In 2021, the Port of Pasco received a $7.5 million Capital Budget award from the Washington State Legislature. Franklin County awarded the project $2.3 million from its Economic Development Fund.
The Port will also utilize the state’s new Tax Increment Financing law to issue general obligation bonds to cover about $9 million of the total project budget.
Darigold broke ground on its project in September and has started the initial phase of site development on 150 acres of the Reimann.