YAKIMA - The Yakima County commissioners okayed the use of Supporting Investments in Economic Diversification (SIED) money for the Port of Grandview at this past Tuesday's meeting.
The commissioners released $125,476 to the Port of Grandview to help improve infrastructure on property that will be sold to Olsen Brothers Ranches in Prosser.
The 3.9 acre parcel is on Forsell Road in Grandview.
The $125,476 will be split into a $62,738 loan and a $62,738 grant. The loan will be repaid with a 2.44 percent annual interest.
The improvements to be made to the property include installing two fire hydrants, putting in 470 feet of curbs and gutters, drainage improvements and an extension of sewer services to the area.
Olsen Brothers Ranches plan to build a blueberry packing plant on the site. In the past the fruit growers have shipped their blueberries to Portland for packing. Having a plant in Grandview will give the company more control.
A 20,000 square foot building is currently being constructed and a 14,000 square foot facility will be built in the future.
Blueberries will be sorted at the plant and then packed into clam shells before being shipped out.
The facilities should be ready by this year's harvest, which should begin in late June. The blueberry packing plant will employ approximately 35 seasonal employees.
New varieties of blueberries are also being planted by Olsen Brothers Ranches to help spread the harvest out.
The new facility is expected to generate approximately $27,000 in property taxes annually. This money will be shared by Yakima County, Grandview and the Port of Grandview.