$ 3.3 million in funding to Washington counties to modernize and expand Internet access


Washington’s Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) announced $ 3.3 million to support infrastructure, economic and broadband Internet development in western Washington.

The funding consists of $ 2.4 million in grants and $ 843,750 in low-interest loans, with the aim of stimulating business growth and job creation, as well as improving the Internet infrastructure needed to keep pace. The money went to King, Whatcom, Cowlitz and Grays Harbor counties.

Federal Way will receive a $ 50,000 grant for a broadband planning study. CERB indicates that the project is a “feasibility study” to assess the potential of a high-speed fiber optic Internet connection in the city. According to the board of directors, the $ 25,000 they provided was offset by funding from the American Rescue Plan Act.

Whatcom County No. 1 Utility District will also receive $ 50,000 for a similar study, with CERB funds matched with $ 12,500 in local resources.

In addition, the Port of Bellingham will receive a $ 2 million grant from the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund for a rural broadband project. The goal of this project is to establish 47 miles of fiber-optic internet connection in northern Whatcom County, just along the Canadian border. CERB predicts that this will create 240 connections with internet speeds of up to 300 Mbps, which is more than enough for streaming TV shows and playing games online. The funds were supplemented by $ 1 million from local resources.

The Port of Woodland will receive a loan of $ 843,750 and a grant of $ 281,250 to construct the first building in the “Rose Way Industrial Park”. The 15,000 square foot construction project includes grading, grading, utilities, parking, curbs and sidewalks. Officials expect the project to create 40 paying jobs above the county’s median salary. PCU funds were supplemented by $ 1.3 million from local resources.

Finally, the Port of Grays Harbor will receive $ 50,000 to upgrade the mooring infrastructure at Westport Marina. CERB funds were supplemented by $ 30,000 from local resources.

“The role of CERB is to respond to local needs by making timely and sound investment decisions,” said Randy Hayden, President of CERB. “The Board of Directors is pleased to work with each of these communities to plan for future private sector jobs and broadband connectivity for Washington families.”

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