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Grandview City Council finalizes housing fund agreement with county

November target date for new strip mall in G'view

GRANDVIEW - After instructing city staff to draw up a resolution authorizing the mayor to sign an interlocal agreement with Yakima County to administer housing funds at the last city council meeting, the council passed the resolution last night.

Sixty percent of the money raised from a county auditor $10 surcharge on all recorded documents will go into a special fund to be used for affordable housing projects, according to an interlocal agreement between Yakima County and the cities and towns in Yakima County.

The City of Grandview had to enter into this agreement with Yakima County to be able to use any of these funds.

"This allows us to use funds available from the county when and if they become available," Grandview Mayor Norm Childress said. "This doesn't bind us to bring in low-income housing but if we decide to in the future, we can use these funds."

Childress said the city isn't too keen on bringing low-income housing to the area. He stated there isn't any taxes collected on the low-income housing but the city still has to provide all of its services.

Childress speculated on one scenario where the city might apply for funds. If an area was going to be used to build starter homes for first-time buyers with low-interest loans the city could apply for some funds to hook-up existing services to the new area, he explained.

Also at Monday's meeting, Grandview City Administrator Scott Staples told the city council at its study session the company West Coast Gold has purchased the old corn plant in Grandview, last owned by Bybee Foods.

Staples said the plant will be used as a french fry line starting in September. The plant should be fully operational by the end of 2006. Staples told the council the plant will employ 100 people.

Staples also told the council that Grandview Mall, LLC will be building a retail/office strip mall in Grandview just west of Les Schwab. Jay Sentz, Paul Neiffer and Joel Ylivisaker make up the company. Sentz said Grandview Mall, LLC will be applying for the permits to start construction July 10 and hope to start on construction as soon as the permits are secured. Sentz said the 12,000 square-foot building should be completed in November.

Sentz said the reason they are building a strip mall in Grandview is because, "We see an opportunity there in Grandview."

Staples also told the council on Monday night he met with the three city administrators for the cities of Mabton, Prosser and Sunnyside last week.

He said the purpose of the meeting was to see if the four communities could work more closely together. Three areas were brought up.

One was recreation programming. The second was civil service testing and the third was to explore the feasibility of bidding out fuel purchases as a group. "The notion of this would be so we could get a better price," Staples said of the fuel purchase.

Staples said they decided to have their respective staffs look at these three areas. He said once the staffs have reported their preliminary findings, the city administrators will get together to discuss them. "It will probably be sometime around the end of summer," Staples said.

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