CPIF dollars will support, encourage economic development

information released

The Chelan Board of County Commissioners recently awarded nearly $740,000 in grant funding to local agencies that support economic development in Chelan County.

The Cascade Public Infrastructure Fund, or CPIF, is a grant program that was created earlier this year to help finance public projects that facilitate the creation or retention of businesses and jobs in the county.

The newly established grant program had its first call for projects this spring. Commissioners awarded grants to six agencies: Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority, Lake Chelan Reclamation District, the Peshastin Water District and the cities of Cashmere, Leavenworth and Wenatchee.

“The Chelan County Board of Commissioners is excited about this new program and the ability to provide these funds to assist with infrastructure improvements throughout Chelan County,” said Commissioner Kevin Overbay. “This program will provide much needed financial resources to our partner agencies for years to come, which will not only improve the economic vitality of our communities but also the quality of life for our citizens.”

Those projects awarded grant dollars are:

  • City of Cashmere: The city was awarded $50,000 to help with the extension of water and wastewater services to an undeveloped lot in downtown Cashmere. In 1998, the city purchased the site on Railroad Avenue from Burlington Northern Railroad to provide parking for downtown Cashmere. The site later contained a warehouse for loading tree fruit onto trains; however, it was demolished. Development of the now vacant land in the warehouse-industry business district will provide space and an opportunity for a small business to relocate and expand.
  • Lake Chelan Reclamation District: The reclamation district was awarded $100,000 to use toward planned improvements to its Lift Station No. 2, which provides sewer service to the entire Manson area. The reclamation district also plans to add a pump at the lift station to better service the ongoing population growth in the Manson area.
  • City of Wenatchee: The city was awarded $115,200 for ongoing revitalization efforts to Lincoln Park, located on the city’s south side. The city plans to build a variety of recreation amenities, including a BMX pump track, spray park, group picnic shelter, children’s play area, disc golf course, restrooms, a soccer and lacrosse field, and a performing arts state. The project also calls for planting shade trees that will improve storm water absorption, improving parking areas and ADA accessibility, and adding safety features to the park.
  • Peshastin Water District: The water district was awarded $124,000 for improvements that will help the water district better monitor the public domestic water system from possible industrial contamination. The project provides a safe and reliable public water utility for both current and future residential and industrial users.
  • City of Leavenworth: The city was awarded $150,000 for storm water improvements needed for continued growth and businesses development on the city’s eastside, where most recently 200 new apartments were built. Potential future development includes an office park, retail space and lodging and housing.
  • Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority: The local port authority was awarded $200,000 for wood waste remediation efforts at the Cashmere Mill Site. While a portion of the mill site, which has been redeveloped into a business park, has been cleaned up, a 1.5-acre parcel north of Sunset Highway requires remediation for continued growth and to attract a business to the location.

Managed by the Chelan County Economic Development department, the CPIF plans to invest nearly $2.5 million into economic development projects in Chelan County in the next three years. The grant project is funded by existing revenues from the sales-and-use tax for public facilities in rural counties, also called the Rural Counties Tax.

The 11-member CPIF Advisory Committee reviews and scores all applications and submits its recommendations to the Chelan County Board of Commissioners for final decision making. Local government agencies and junior taxing districts in Chelan County can apply for a CPIF grant, which will be awarded annually each spring.