NCWEDD announces priority project selection

Wenatchee - The North Central Washington Economic Development District has announced its annual selection of regional projects of economic significance. The project selection was approved by the NCWEDD Board of Directors after receiving a recommendation from the NCWEDD Priority Projects Committee representing Chelan, Douglas, Okanogan Counties and the Colville Confederated Tribes. The committee reviewed and evaluated the submitted applications.

Seventeen projects from throughout North Central Washington submitted Letters of Inquiry to the NCWEDD for the ranking process. After committee review, fourteen of the applicants were invited to submit a full proposal. After careful review of the proposals, the committee ranked the projects based on a number of established criteria, including measurable regional economic benefits, measurable community benefits, fully developed plan and strategy, alignment with NCWEDD goals and objectives, and local and regional support. Regional prioritization can result in different project emphases than those established on the county or municipal levels.

Sourcing funds for the top projects will become part of the NCWEDD work plan, including researching, applying for, and administering grants. Comparable support for other ranked projects will be integrated into the NCWEDD work plan as resources permit.

Selected projects are categorized as Capital, Transportation, or Strategic Priorities, with the highest ranked projects listed first under each category.
Capital Projects

Pateros Starr Road (Okanogan County - Opportunity Zone) - This project contributes to Improving Washington resiliency and increasing access to living wage Jobs by investing in basic infrastructure installation for a city-owned, former landfill site, zoned for commercial and light-industrial uses, and whose redevelopment will aid Pateros in it's ongoing recovery from the 2014 and 2015 fires

Omak Municipal Airport (Okanogan County) - This project will assist with Preserving Eastern Washington forests and improving Washington state resiliency by installing water infrastructure for the fire-fighting resources needed to make the airport a base for fire response, in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources.

Wenatchi Landing (Douglas County) - The installation of critical infrastructure on the centrally-located, 280+ acre site will increase access to living wage jobs, reduce homelessness by enabling housing development, and improve Washington state’'s resiliency by supporting the development of a regional job center, mixed use residential-commercial, and tourist destination.

Tonasket Annexation Phase One (Okanogan County) - With the support of impacted landowners, this project seeks to complete the planning, permitting and engineering for the extension of utilities and transportation upgrades to commercial, light industrial and residential parcels that will be annexed by the City. This project is a necessary step towards increasing access to living wage jobs and reducing homelessness in Northern Okanogan County.

Tonasket Complete Streets Initiative (Okanogan County - Opportunity Zone) - This robust project will help improve Washington resiliency and increase access to living wage jobs by reconstructing antiquated and crumbling infrastructure below and above ground (e.g. sewer, stormwater management, ADA compliant sidewalks) along Tonasket's commercial Highway 97 1-mile stretch, which is the commercial core of the community.

Transportation Projects
Wenatchee Apple Capital Loop Project (Chelan and Douglas Counties - Opportunity Zones) - This project will improve Washington resiliency through transportation improvements on the 11-mile Loop to address growing congestion & safety problems (pedestrian and vehicular) and support regional economic growth.

Omak Shumway Road/Highway 97 Intersection (Okanogan County) - Completion of the east-leg of the Highway 97/Shumway Road intersection (identified as a priority in the 1990s) will improve pedestrian safety at one of the busiest Okanogan County intersections, and facilitate parcel development east of the society thereby supporting the development healthy and safe options for Omak.

Strategic Projects for Regional Economic Development
Rock Island Waterfront Redevelopment Project (Douglas County - Opportunity Zone) - This project will increase access to living wage jobs, and improve Washington's resiliency by redeveloping the waterfront property of a former silica site and environs. The area is part of a designated Industrial Development District supporting the recruitment of manufacturing and industrial businesses, retrofitting of a critical economic asset, and cleaning up a modest brownfield site to bring it into public use.

Omak Business Park and Foreign Trade Zone (Okanogan County - Opportunity Zone) - The development of the Colville Tribes’ Business Park to include a biomass-to-energy operation, foreign trade zone, and technology businesses will support the preservation of Eastern Washington forests, increase access to living wage jobs in an area adversely impacted by a mill closing, and will improve Washington's resiliency.

Pateros Downtown Mall Resurfacing (Okanogan County - Opportunity Zone) - This project entails planning the design to repair, resurface and expand the Downtown Mall to include a portion that will serve new residential housing, which will help reduce homelessness and the shortage of affordable housing since the 2014 and 2015 fires.

Entiat Marina and Waterfront (Chelan County) - These projects will support the completion of the planned waterfront development in Entiat, which will include hotel accommodations, commercial and light industrial parcels, and community recreation.

To date, the North Central Washington Economic Development District has secured over $2 million grant and low-interest loan funding for a variety of projects in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan Counties as well as the Colville Tribe through this process.

The North Central Washington Economic Development District (NCWEDD) is a federally designated economic development district, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit, serving the NCW region covering Okanogan, Douglas, and Chelan counties and the Colville Confederated Tribes.

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