State grant funds Tacoma Narrows Airport economic study

The Washington State Community Economic Revitalization Board (CERB) announced Jan. 21 that it is awarding a $25,000 grant to Pierce County conduct an economic feasibility study at the Tacoma Narrows Airport.

The study is scheduled to be completed by early March, coinciding with the completion of a Business Case Evaluation already in progress. Information gained from these studies will be combined with a Federal Aviation Administration-funded Airport Master Plan Assessment to be started later this year. The result of these efforts will be a plan to guide county investment decisions at the airport in context of the surrounding community.

The feasibility study will identify how much future economic development the county can promote, which drives how it invests now. It will also show how much money the county needs to achieve the level of service it desires. The studies enable the county to gather the facts, look at all the options and build to levels that will support future development at the airport and the surrounding vicinity.

The grant, awarded to the Public Works and Utilities Department, requires an $11,250 county match in cash and in-kind services and will be performed by a consultant.

The $25,000 grant was among $3 million in public investments announced Jan. 21 that target job creation and business growth in Grant, Pierce, and Whatcom counties.

“These strategic infrastructure investments have the potential to create or retain more than 200 jobs and will stimulate the economies of local communities,” said Gov. Chris Gregoire. “Creating new jobs is more important now than ever before, and these funds will help Washington set the foundation for growth.”

Since 1982, CERB has committed nearly $150 million to counties across the state, an investment generating more than 36,000 jobs.

The board approved the following projects:


— $25,000 grant to Pierce County for an economic development study identifying potential business development on the Tacoma Narrows Airport properties. This project would allow for an intensification of use of existing industrial land. CERB funds are matched by $6,250 in local funds.


— $1.5 million loan and $500,000 grant to the Port of Moses Lake for the construction of a new electrical substation. CERB funds are matched by more than $5 million in private funds.

— $1 million loan to the Port of Warden for the upgrade of five existing grain storage silos and associated facilities for a new oilseed crush and biodiesel production facility. CERB funds are matched by more than $3.2 million in public and private funds.


— $35,000 grant to Whatcom County to conduct a site assessment for a small business incubator designed to grow new technology jobs. CERB funds are matched by $14,000 in local funds.

The release of CERB funds to these projects is contingent upon each applicant completing specific pre-contract requirements, such as finalizing other funding sources and obtaining necessary permits.

CERB aims to create private sector jobs in partnership with local governments by financing infrastructure improvements. These improvements encourage new business development and expansion. In addition to funding construction projects, CERB provides limited funding for studies that evaluate high-priority economic development projects. Learn more about CERB at

Pierce County's Tacoma Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor. (PHOTO COURTESY PIERCE COUNTY)