Last night the Port of Sunnyside commissioners authorized Jay Hester, the port's executive director in training, to sign an application for Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) funding that would be used for demolition and revitalization of the former Carnation plant site.
The phase II grant funding would help the Port of Sunnyside with the demolition of existing buildings on the site, according to Port of Sunnyside Property Development and Project Manager Jed Crowther.
The funds would also be used for the preservation and relocation of the Carnation water tower, creating a corner monument highlighting the architecture of the building, he told the commissioners.
The funding already received from the Department of Ecology and Nestle amounts to more than $224,000, which covered the cost of environmental studies conducted on the site.
Crowther anticipates the Department of Ecology and the Environmental Protection Agency will award the Port of Sunnyside funding for continued environmental monitoring and remediation associated with soil contamination in the area surrounding the site.
Executive Director Amber Hansen told the commissioners, "Without funding from CERB, the Carnation project won't move forward."
She and Crowther said the funding for the project must be in place before the sale of the property to the local port district closes in December.
Crowther said, "We hope the phase II funding is accepted at the beginning of December."
The acquisition of the property would take place within days of funding approval, he noted.
There will be a 30-day public comment period through the month of November, as well. That is required as part of the consent decree process set forth by the Department of Ecology.
The commissioners gave unanimous consent, authorizing Hester to sign the application for funding on behalf of the port.