On January 19, 2023, the Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approved $10 million in low interest loans and $75,000 in grants for economic revitalization and public infrastructure renovation, intended to spur business growth and job creation in communities throughout the state.
Renovations to the City of Pasco’s 25-year old Process Water Reuse Facility will incorporate conservation strategies and new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the capability to mitigate more than 300,000 metric tons of CO2 annually.
“CERB projects represent an important partnership between the state and local communities resulting in enhanced economic vitality. CERB’s mission of creating jobs and building sustainable economies statewide is vital to Washington. The Board is pleased to collaborate with each of these communities by investing in their economic future,” said CERB Chair Michael Echanove.
- Franklin County – $5 million loan to the City of Pasco for construction and replacement of the city’s Process Water Reuse Facility, which will include a screening and grit removal headworks, two anaerobic digesters, a renewable natural gas system, and a biological nitrogen removal system. The county’s Committed Private Partner, Darigold, Inc., is investing $500 million in the project, which is expected to create an estimated 198 jobs. CERB funds are matched by $130 million in local resources.
- King County – $50,000 grant to the City of Carnation for a feasibility study to explore the potential for establishing a Snoqualmie Valley Small Business Incubator. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
- Kittitas County – $25,000 grant to the Ellensburg Business Development Authority (dba CenterFuse) for a feasibility study to identify and assess artist production and performance space needs and availability. CERB funds are matched by $12,500 in local resources.
- Whitman County – $5 million loan to the Port of Whitman County for the “Biotechnology Ag Campus” project to acquire an approximately 100-acre property and begin site preparation for the construction of a biodiesel facility. The county’s Committed Private Partner, AgTech OS, is investing $1.25 million in the private project that is expected to create an estimated 44 jobs. CERB funds are matched by $32.5 million in local resources.
“From the creative economy and small businesses to innovative clean technology projects, these latest CERB investments highlight the incredible diversity of economic growth opportunities that are strengthening rural communities across Washington state,” said Washington Commerce Director Lisa Brown.
Since 1982, CERB has committed more than $230 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.
Among the supported projects is a new Darigold, Inc. butter and protein powder production facility in Pasco that is slated to open in early 2024 and represents the largest investment in Darigold history.
The new plant will have the capacity to process approximately eight million pounds of milk per day from more than 100 local dairy farms.
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.
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, reach out to Janea Stark.
Photo courtesy of the City of Pasco.