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Port seeks more funds for wastewater plant expansion

The Port of Sunnyside is reaching out for additional funds for construction of a new anaerobic system that will double the capacity of its industrial wastewater plant.

Just last month port officials received a $1 million grant/loan package from the Yakima County Development Association to aid in funding the wastewater plant digester which has an overall price tag of about $6 million.

Last night, Monday, Port of Sunnyside commissioners agreed to seek another $1 million from the state's Community Economic Revitalization Board.

Jay Hester is the port's executive director, and last night said if the application is approved the state board would likely provide a $125,000 grant and the remainder of the funds would be a low-interest loan. He said it's possible the board could free up more funds for grant monies.

The port will likely hear an answer on its application following the Community Economic Revitalization Board's July 18 meeting.

The port hopes to have the wastewater plant expansion work wrapped up within 18 months to meet growing demand from current industries - such as JM Eagle and Darigold - as well as from industries considering a move to the Sunnyside area.

When complete, it's estimated the anaerobic system will help create at least 25 new jobs in the Sunnyside area.

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