WENATCHEE – A mix of municipal projects and new affordable housing projects will share in $1.1 million from the Cascade Public Infrastructure Fund this year.
On Monday, August 7, Chelan County commissioners awarded $1,120,754 to six projects, which range from infrastructural improvements at the Cashmere Mill Site business park to upgrades at an apartment complex in Leavenworth that provides affordable workforce housing.
Now in its third year, the grant program, or CPIF, was created to help finance public projects that facilitate the creation or retention of businesses and jobs or permanently affordable housing opportunities in the county. Managed by the Chelan County Economic Services department, the CPIF awarded nearly $589,200 to five local agencies in 2021. Last year, commissioners awarded $923,200 to four agencies.
“With each year, these monies are making a greater impact in our community,” said Ron Cridlebaugh, Chelan County Economic Services director. “In three years, we will have invested more than $2.6 million into a variety of projects that will either create or retain jobs or create more affordable housing, two top priorities for Chelan County.”
The projects awarded 2023 CPIF grant dollars are:
• Chelan Douglas Regional Port Authority: $244,600 for infrastructural improvements to the Cashmere Mill Site, a port-owned property. The improvements, which include waterline, stormwater drainage system and road improvements, are necessary to attract new businesses to the business park.
• Chelan County: $30,000 for a facility assessment of Ohme Gardens, the Wenatchee River County Park and the Chelan County Fair and Expo Center. The assessment will help determine priority needs to ensure the county-owned facilities remain open to the public and continue to generate economic activity.
• City of Entiat: $350,000 to complete a general sewer plan and waste water treatment plant engineering report. The report will identify recommended improvements to the city’s system to prepare for projected residential and commercial growth.
• City of Wenatchee: $65,000 for the relocation of a sewer mainline that will support redevelopment efforts in the north Wenatchee area.
• Common Ground Housing Trust: $231,154 for the development and installation of infrastructure that will support the construction of eight attainable housing units, or cottages, on 9th Street in Wenatchee.
• Upper Valley MEND: $200,000 for improvements to a 31-unit rental housing project in Leavenworth that focuses on affordable workforce housing.
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 CPIF Advisory Committee reviewed and scored all applications and submitted its recommendations to the Chelan County Board of Commissioners for final decision making.