Manufacturing plant may be in Walla Walla future

The Port of Walla Walla has approved funds for a water line. The county will consider chipping in.

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WALLA WALLA - A new plastic-bottle manufacturer may be in the pipeline for Walla Walla with help from the Economic Development Sales Tax Fund.

Port of Walla Walla commissioners gave the go-ahead for a $100,000 grant to help with water line and other improvements at the company's proposed Dell Avenue site. Walla Walla County commissioners will consider a similar request this week.

Details about the company were not available through the application process. City and Port officials have been working with the manufacturing firm for several months but are reportedly finalizing details with the organization.

The approval of the economic development funds will pave the way for the operation, expected to bring 10 new jobs to the community and an annual payroll after benefits of $504,000 to $516,600, according to its grant application to the Port.

The Economic Development Sales Tax Fund was designed to support projects that add jobs to the county.

The fund is fueled by the return of nine-tenths of 1 percent of state sales tax generated locally to Walla Walla County. The three commissioners control the funds, but under a revised interlocal agreement approved in 2005, the Port can take applications and recommend projects for up to two-thirds of the money. The remaining one-third is used by the county for infrastructure improvements and other qualifying projects. The county will continue to receive these economic development collections through 2024.

According to the application for funding to the Port, the company would locate in the Dell Avenue Industrial Area with a roughly $4.4 million investment.

The sales tax fund would help finance the installation of 600 to 700 feet of a new 12-inch water line and two fire hydrants to serve the manufacturing plant, as well as the industrial area. The improvements would allow for water and fire suppression services at the building and enhance water services to existing neighboring buildings, including the Cliffstar and former Crown Cork & Seal plants.

The 10 proposed jobs that would come from the polyethylene terephthalate plastic company include one site manager position at $80,000 a year; one maintenance specialist at $60,000 a year; and eight blow mold operator positions at $35,000 a year.

The plant is expected to generate about $44,000 in annual property tax revenue and almost $12,000 in annual sales tax revenue.

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