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County allocates nearly $1 million in CPIF funds

Above photo: The Mountainview Housing development project, a project of the Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee, was among four projects recently awarded CPIF funds by Chelan County. The agency was awarded $324,160 to extend sewer services to the development, which is underway in Entiat.

 

Chelan County commissioners awarded nearly $1 million in grant funding to three affordable housing projects and a new firefighter training center in Manson.

On Aug. 30, commissioners awarded $923,200 to the four projects with funding from the Cascade Public Infrastructure Fund, or CPIF.

Now in its second year, CPIF is a grant program created to help finance public projects that facilitate the creation or retention of businesses and jobs or permanently affordable housing opportunities in the county.

Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed legislation expanding the use of these funds to include projects that supported permanently affordable housing. The legislation, sponsored in part by Sen. Brad Hawkins, passed and was signed into law in March, allowing Chelan County and other municipalities to consider CPIF applications from housing authorities or housing trusts. The expansion of the definition of public facilities to include affordable workforce housing infrastructure or facilities was highly supported by Chelan County commissioners to help address the area’s critical housing shortage.

Commissioner Kevin Overbay said the recently passed legislation opened a new door for communities like Chelan County that are experiencing a dwindling supply of affordable workforce housing.

“When awarding public grant dollars, the county looks at where we could make the biggest impact,” Overbay said. “The housing projects that will receive CPIF funding serve communities from Chelan to Leavenworth to Wenatchee. We appreciate that the Legislature recognized the importance in giving communities more flexibility when deciding how best to use these resources to build up our local economies.”

Those projects awarded 2022 CPIF grant dollars are:

  • $324,160 to the Housing Authority of Chelan County and the City of Wenatchee. The money will be used to extend sewer services to the Mountainview Housing development project, which is underway on 6.6 acres on Olin Street in Entiat. When finished, the development will consist of 12 buildings and a variety of units serving low-income residents and farmworker households.
  • $310,000 to Upper Valley MEND of Leavenworth. The money will be used for the purchase of workforce housing units in Leavenworth. Grant funding also may include some renovations to the units.
  • $189,040 to the Chelan Valley Housing Trust in Chelan. The money will be used for the purchase of 1.7 acres adjacent to the agency’s current development on Iowa Street. More housing will be built on the acquired property.
  • $100,000 to Chelan County Fire District 5 in Manson. The money will be used to build a fire training center on Wapato Lake Road on property already owned by the fire district. When completed, the training center will not only build upon firefighters’ training and skills but also may help reduce home insurance rates in the district’s service area and be used as a recruitment tool for new firefighters.  
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  • Managed by the Chelan County Economic Development department, the CPIF plans to invest nearly $2.5 million into economic development projects in Chelan County between 2021 and 2023. Newly established in 2021, the program last year awarded nearly $740,000. This year’s application round attracted six applicants and requests totaling more than $1.5 million.

The grant project is funded by existing revenues from the sales-and-use tax for public facilities in rural counties, also called the Rural Counties Tax. The CPIF Advisory Committee reviewed and scored all applications and submitted its recommendations to the Chelan County Board of Commissioners for final decision making.

Last Updated: 09/01/2022 08:19 AM

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