In 2016, we are positioning the community for future job development and business investment opportunities. We continue to follow up on prospective business leads. EDC is engaged in local transportation planning activities that will support future industrial growth. Our organization continues to support Benaroya’s effort to develop in the Winlock area. During this Legislative session in Olympia, EDC has made multiple contacts with legislators. There were a number of public policy and direct business support activities during the month of January.
Benaroya And Lewis County:
The Lewis County Commissioners are considering an agreement between Lewis County and Benaroya. The hearing was opened on January 11th and will continue for a period of two weeks. The agreement addresses Winlock Industrial Park at I-5. The proposed agreement addresses transportation improvements associated with county roads adjacent to and within the proposed project in the Winlock Urban growth area, including North Military Road and the proposed Mickelson Parkway. The draft development Agreement is available online at the Lewis County website by clicking on the following link. Lewis County Planning.
The Benaroys Winlock industrial develop,eat occludes 320 acres adjacent to Interstate 5. EDC supports the development of this property and is asking our membership to support this project as well.
Legislation that provides TransAlta incentives change from coal to natural gas fired boilers is being considered in Olympia. House Bill 2715 would make the construction of a new gas fired boiler exempt from sales and use tax. This incentive is similar to one that is currently offered to expanding our new manufacturing facilities.
We recently testified in favor of this bill in front of the Technology & Economic Development Committee. This bill is supported by organized labor, United Way, Lewis County Treasurer, Lewis County Commissioners, and other groups. EDC is proud to be part of this coalition. The bill can be found at the following link. Bill info.
Our organization continues to work with a manufacturer, which is also considering other states, to invest in a new 100,000 square foot facility. We are doing demographic and tax structure research to provide a case of why our community is the best option for the manufacturer. Centralia College is partnering with us to put together a compelling workforce training package. We were able to fly out to meet with the company and make a case for locating in Lewis County.
EDC LEGISLATIVE AGENDA
The EDC Board of Directors has developed a Legislative Agenda for the 2016 Legislative Session. There are two high priority issues for our community, resolving flooding issues and transportation access for industry. We support the continued local, regional, and statewide efforts to resolve these issues. The EDC will be developing funding sources related to transportation.
Access to industrial property in the north end of Lewis County is important to our community and to future job growth. Transportation connections to industrial property in this area is challenging and will continue to become more challenging as local and interstate traffic increases. Last year the Legislature allocated $50 million to WSDOT for transportation improvements in the North end of Lewis County, beginning in 2025. The Legislative Funding Authorization Bill directs WSDOT to consider results of Lewis County’s transportation study. The study began in March 2015.
Chehalis River flooding has caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to businesses, communities, and families in Lewis County and the rest of the Chehalis basin in the last twenty years. The threat of flooding is an impediment to our efforts to grow more jobs and business. We strongly support the fish and flood strategy of the Governor’s Chehalis basin work group. We endorse upper Chehalis water retention along with a vigorous basin-wide salmon habitat enhancement effort. We support the continued bipartisan effort of legislators representing the Chehalis basin to fund the fish enhancement and flood damage reduction strategy.
Business Succession Training:
Business owners considering transitioning out of their business in the next 5 years should consider this event. Presenters at this event include: a business broker, a financial advisor, a CPA, a business consultant, and an attorney. Topics include how to prepare your business for sale or transition, business valuation, options and tips for selling your business to an outsider, employee or family member, as well as exit strategies. This event is scheduled for March 4th registration begins at 8:00 am. The venue is the Best Western in Chehalis. You may register for this event by following this link. Business Succession Training