Seventh District legislators said today they are very pleased that Republic will get needed financial assistance for a light industrial park to bring new, family-wage jobs to Ferry County.
According to Sen. Bob Morton, R-Kettle Falls, even before the recession, Ferry County’s unemployment rate was higher than the statewide average.
"We need this infusion to diversify our job base and put people back to work," Morton said.
The Republic Public Development Authority has been awarded a $260,000 loan and a $20,000 grant for the reconstruction of a 6,000 square-foot steel metal framed building and associated infrastructure to support future industrial development.
The money is provided by the Community Economic Revitalization Board within the state Department of Community, Trade and Economic Development.
The loan is zero interest for 20 years and has a five-year deferral of payment. CERB gets its funding through state bonds, loan repayments and interest earnings on its account and the public works account.
"This industrial park is vital," Rep. Joel Kretz, R-Wauconda, said. "The decline in timber, mining and ranching activities has had an impact on small businesses around our district. We need ways to rebuild our economy and create jobs. The industrial park would be one way to accomplish this goal."
The Republic Torboy Industrial Park received initial funding of $50,000 from CERB for the feasibility study. The Republic PDA will provide at least $164,400 of in-kind support for the project.
Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, praised the project as important to the county’s economic recovery.
"We need a concerted effort to create jobs in today’s tough economic climate," Short said. "Sometimes things pick up on their own and sometimes they do not. A hand up in tough times gives us hope that things are going to get better."
The CERB money will fund engineering, foundation and excavation work, reconstruction of the building, a sewage treatment system, electrical and plumbing work related to a water system and pump house, and road work.
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For more information, contact: Brendon Wold, Senior Information Officer: (360) 786-7698