The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) yesterday approved $ 8,272,040 million in grants and $ 1,975,000 in low-interest loans for planning, economic development projects and building rural broadband infrastructure.
Five rural broadband projects have been approved for nearly $ 8 million in funding from CERB’s coronavirus investment projects fund, enabling approximately 3,362 broadband internet connections when terminated. The projects are located in Grays Harbor, Kitsap, Mason, Skagit and Thurston counties. The Skagit County Port Project was also approved for a $ 1 million CERB loan.
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In addition to the rural broadband investments, the council approved a grant of $ 200,000 and a loan of $ 600,000 for the Cooperative Way construction project in East Richland, Benton County. This investment under the CERB private partnership program is in addition to $ 6 million of private investment. In addition, a project at the Planters Hotel in Sunnyside, Yakima County was also approved for funding – a grant of $ 125,000 and a loan of $ 375,000 from the CERB Potential Development Fund, supplementing 50 $ 000 in private investment. These two projects are expected to create approximately 31 full-time jobs in the communities.
Planning grants totaling $ 125,000 were also approved for projects in Klickitat, Mason and Whitman counties.
Find details of all projects approved during yesterday’s CERB meeting here.
âThese projects represent the range of projects funded by CERB. Projects that lead to job growth and statewide broadband connectivity through infrastructure development and planning. The Board of Directors is pleased to work with each of these communities as they strive to create permanent private sector jobs and broadband access. said Randy Hayden, president of CERB.
“CERB’s investments in rural broadband are an important part of Washington State’s commitment to economic vitality and digital equity,” said Lisa Brown, state director of commerce from Washington. âAffordable high-speed internet access strengthens communities – it is essential that all residents can learn, work, access telemedicine and seize opportunities to thrive wherever they choose to live. “
Washington State is bracing for historic state and federal investments in broadband and digital equity. In addition to CERB grants and loans, the state’s Public Works Board and the Washington State Broadband Office are partnering with communities across the state to provide universal high-speed internet access by 2024 Part of that effort includes a speed survey to determine where there are gaps in service. Individuals can participate in the 1-minute speed test by visiting broadband.wa.gov.
The release of CERB funds for projects approved today is conditional upon each applicant fulfilling specific pre-contractual requirements, such as finalizing other sources of funding and obtaining the necessary permits.
Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $ 211 million to local state jurisdictions, an investment generating more than 37,800 jobs and a private capital investment of $ 5.8 billion, representing a return on investment of 29 to 1 dollar. Read the CERB 2020 legislative report
Since 2018, CERB has committed $ 28 million in rural broadband infrastructure for local jurisdictions and tribes. These investments are expected to generate 18,734 connections, through 23 projects, in 60 underserved rural communities. Read the CERB 2020 legislative report on rural broadband
As Washington’s strategic economic development resource, CERB focuses on creating private sector jobs in partnership with local governments by funding infrastructure improvements. These improvements encourage the development and expansion of new businesses. In addition to funding construction projects, CERB provides limited funding for studies that assess high priority economic development projects. Learn more about CERB at www.commerce.wa.gov/cerb.
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