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Blueline's expansion to Sunnyside to increase local workforce by 25

The Port of Sunnyside recently learned that it's been granted $125,000 in Supporting Investment and Economic Development (SEID) funds for infrastructure to support Blueline Manufacturing's expansion into Sunnyside.

The Port was approved for $62,500 in grant funds and $62,500 in loan funds that will be paid back over the course of seven years.

Port commissioners gave the OK for Blueline to purchase property at the Port's industrial/business park located at East Edison.

According to Blueline Manufacturing owner Gregg Marrs, the new facility will support the company's existing farm equipment dealership located in Sunnyside. Marrs said it's important to note the company is not moving from its current location in Moxee.

Marrs, a Sunnyside High School graduate, said one reason he selected Sunnyside was the availability of labor in the area. And, he added, "We're excited about being in Sunnyside because of the centralized location to our markets."

David McFadden of the Yakima County Economic Development Association issued a memo to SIED board members in support of the Port's application.

The memo states that the funding will be used to help finish 2,270 feet of Reith Way, connecting the two entry points in the industrial/business park at Barnard and Van Nutley roads.

Blueline Manufacturing currently has 28 employees at its Moxee facility, and the new plant will add an additional 25 jobs, increasing its existing payroll by roughly $870,000 annually. The company is expected to create 10 jobs in the first year and an additional 15 jobs by the third year. Ultimately, there will be three management positions, five technical positions, two clerical positions, two sales positions, eight skilled crafts positions and five of the positions are unspecified in the memo.

McFadden also noted that the company offers sick leave, vacation, health insurance and retirement benefits.

Marrs is hoping construction for the new facility will begin in May or June of 2008 and should be finished by the end of the year.

Marrs said the new facility will be roughly 15,000 square feet in size with room to expand in the future.

Blueline Manufacturing specializes in farm equipment that is used in orchards, vineyards and composting operations. According to the memo, the business has expanded at a rate of 30 percent per year.

Marrs said that Blueline Manufacturing originated in 1958 and was known as Groenig Machine Shop. By 1986, it became Blueline Manufacturing. Marrs became one of three owners in 1991, and is sole owner of the business today.

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