By Laura Murray, April 2, 2013, KNDO
If you build it they will come. That’s the idea behind doubling the Port of Sunnyside’s wastewater treatment capabilities allowing current and new industries to thrive.
“We’re in the heartland of agriculture and the food industry, and it’s a logical place for this kind of thing to grow,” said Jed Crowther, the Project Manager.
Crowther said they’ve been getting interest from local, national and even international food processing plants, but in order to accommodate they need to grow. That’s why the port is listed as one of the top priorities in a Regional Economic Development Plan for Yakima and Kittitas counties.
“I would imagine for the Port of Sunnyside, that could initially support about 25 to 30 jobs, but in the longer term it could grow to well over 100,” said Dave McFadden, the President of New Vision.
“It’s huge,” said Crowther. “It’s a benefit to the community to add those jobs, long term-family wage jobs.”
Another top priority in the regional plan includes building a retail business incubator in downtown Ellensburg. The facility will hold 15 businesses that are just starting out and need time to build a clientele.
“That story involves the city of Ellensburg actually buying the downtown property so it’s ready to go,” said McFadden. “They’re trying to get tenants in there.”
20 projects were originally submitted for the economic development plan.