Pacific County is among the 13 counties sharing $17.9 million in funding for planning, economic development and rural broadband infrastructure construction projects.
The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) approved over $15.4 million in grants and $2.5 million in low-interest loans for these projects.
According to a release, nine rural broadband projects were approved for over $14 million in grants from the CERB coronavirus capital projects fund, enabling an estimated 3,858 high-speed internet connections once completed.
Another three projects approved for funding under CERB’s committed private partner program represent $684,500 in grants and more than $2.5 million in loans that will be matched by over $7.6 million in private investment. The partner projects will create an estimated 200 jobs.
Three additional projects were approved for planning grants totaling $150,000.
In Pacific County, the Port of Ilwaco will use nearly $750,000 in a combination of grant and loan money, in addition to an estimated $2,400,000 in private investment, to replace a bulkhead at the site. This work is estimated to create 90 jobs.
Projects funded are located in Pacific, Asotin, Clark, Columbia, Cowlitz, Garfield, Kitsap, Kittitas, Lincoln, Skagit, Thurston, Walla Walla and Whitman counties.
See the complete table of grants and loans.
“CERB’s mission is to help local governments and tribes finance their vision for the future. As we move forward from COVID-19, this is more important than ever. Targeted local investment in economic development and rural broadband infrastructure is essential to building a foundation for successful and sustainable economic growth. In these unprecedented times, the projects approved for funding represent the economic, cultural, and geographic diversity of our state. These investments will have a positive economic impact at a time when it is needed the most,” said CERB Chair Randy Hayden.
“CERB investments in critical infrastructure, such as broadband, have never been more important for local leaders seeking to build back better from the pandemic,” said Washington State Commerce Director Lisa Brown. “This funding strengthens rural communities all across our state by supporting plans for economic vitality and opportunities for people to thrive, wherever they choose to live.”
The release of CERB funds to the projects approved is contingent on completion of specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits.
Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $203 million to local jurisdictions across the state, an investment generating more than 36,600 jobs, and private capital investment of a $5.8 billion – a $29-to-$1 return on CERB investments. Read the 2020 CERB Legislative Report
Since 2018, CERB has committed $13.45 million to rural broadband infrastructure to local jurisdictions and Tribes. These investments are estimated to generate 14,391 connections, through 14 projects, across 45 rural underserved communities. Read the 2020 CERB Rural Broadband Legislative Report
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.