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Port projects get funding help

YAKIMA - Funding for two Port of Sunnyside project was approved by the Yakima County Supporting Investments in Economic Diversification (SIED) Board at its quarterly meeting yesterday.

The board decided to fully fund both project funding requests submitted by the port. SIED will provide a total of $275,400 for an expansion to a rail spur used by Bleyhl Farm Service's bulk fuel plant and a total of $1 million for improvements to the port's wastewater facility.

"We're very excited," said Port Director Jay Hester. "We've been working on expansions to the wastewater plant for years and this funding will help make that happen."

The rail spur project will receive $68,850 as a grant and $206,550 as a loan with a term of 10 years. The total cost of the project is $315,400 and the port is contributing $40,000.

The project will build an additional rail spur to the Bleyhl plant on Midvale Road to accommodate customer demand. In addition to the improvements by the port, Bleyhl will invest $300,000 in the propane facility and create four new jobs.

The wastewater plant project will receive $500,000 in the form of a grant and the other half of the funding as a loan with a term of 10 years and the first payment deferred for two years. The total cost of the project is $6 million and that port already has $3 million in funding lined up. The funding from SIED may assist the port in getting other funding.

The project will involve building a pumping station, and anaerobic pretreatment lagoon, an acidulation basin and a control building that will effectively double the capacity of the existing treatment plant. This will allow for expansion in accepting wastewater from existing companies and provide capacity for companies that may wish to locate new facilities in Sunnyside.

The project is expected to provide 25 new jobs to the area.

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