Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Washington State Invests $2 Million in Port Projects

The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) on July 18 revealed that it was giving more than $2 million to three ports in the state for public investments targeting business growth and job creation.

The CERB has agreed to provide an $850,000 loan and $150,000 grant to the Port of Sunnyside in Yakima County to construct a wastewater pre-treatment facility for the expansion of the Darigold facility located at the port.

The Port of Sunnyside says it will match CERB’s investment with $5 million in local and federal funds for the wastewater improvements. The new infrastructure will allow the creation of 25 new jobs and retention of 137 existing jobs at the facility.

Darigold, a Seattle-based dairy agricultural company, says it expects to invest $22 million in their private facility as a result of this project.

CERB additionally approved a $500,000 loan and $100,000 grant to the Port of Whitman in Whitman County to build two rail spur segments, which are expected to provide infrastructure to support additional rail cars delivering bulk commodities to the McGregor Co., a Washington fertilizer and agri-chemical company.

The Port of Whitman says it will match CERB’s investment with nearly $138,000 in local funds to construct the rail spurs. The McGregor Co. says it will invest $10 million in its private facility and create 10 jobs as a result of the project.

Additionally, a $499,000 CERB loan was given to the Port of Camas-Washougal in Clark County to construct a food processing and distribution center for gourmet fresh foods supplier Foods in Season, which sells wild-foraged foods from the Pacific Northwest to high-end restaurants in the United States, Europe and Japan.

The Port of Camas-Washougal says it’ll match CERB’s investment with over $1.3 million in local funds to complete the distribution center.  Foods in Season says it will invest $500,000 in private equipment and create 10 permanent jobs as a result of this project.

The release of funds to the projects is contingent upon each applicant completing specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits, according to the CERB.