Port Looking For Federal Money To Fund Building Project
The Chelan Douglas Port Authority is turning to a federal program to fund several major building improvement projects it's working on.
The Port is working through the offices of Senators' Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray to secure $13 million for three projects.
Congress members Kim Schrier and Dan Newhouse, who represent Wenatchee and East Wenatchee respectively in their U.S. House districts, may also be contacted by the Port for help.
The money would be accessed through a program known as Congressionally Directed Spending, which is a source for grants that can be used on community projects.
Port CEO Jim Kuntz says they should get the money, unless Congress fails to pass a budget this year.
"Cross your fingers that there's actually a budget at the end of the year, or at least an omnibus spending bill that everyone can agree to" said Kuntz. "That's the vehicle we need."
The money would be used for work on the Trades District at Pangborn Airport, the airport's General Aviation building and the Lineage Complex in downtown Wenatchee.
The Trades District is made up of the Giga Watt Pods in the Pangborn Industrial Park that were once part of a large, multi-phase data center project. The pod structures are being repurposed into small, incubator business production space.
The Port is seeking $5 million in federal money for Phase 2 of the Trades District.
It’s seeking $3 million for the Pangborn Airport General Aviation building, which is being renovated to house the airport’s new Executive Flight terminal.
In addition, the Port is asking for $5 million for the Lineage Complex, which is a group of warehouses in the downtown area of Wenatchee. The Port spent $4.5 million to purchase the buildings with the intent to repurpose them for future use.
David Marten with the federal lobbying group Elevate thinks the Washington congressional members will be helpful in accessing the grant money the Port is asking for.
"We are in a very good position with our relationships, and the engagements we have had from our congressional delegation to secure money through this process, because they are the one's that control the process," said Marten.