Walla Walla County gets $1 million in grant

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The Washington state Department of Commerce today announced Walla Walla County will receive $1 million for its ongoing community service center project.

In December, county officials approved a $2.1 million loan from the county's investment pool to buy the building now housing the county's Human Services Department at 1520 Kelly Place, off Dalles Military Road. The loan to the Human Services Department will be paid back over 10 years by the department and other agencies expected to move into the building.

Slated to take up residence is Blue Mountain Action Council, Helpline, Blue Mountain Heart to Heart and Friends of Children of Walla Walla, Daryl Daugs, Human Services Department director, said at the time.

Getting the state grant will allow the project to be improved upon, Daugs said today. "This allows us to enhance services - better (Americans with Disabilities) access, a more efficient ventilation and air system, better technology for the building and a better configuration of space."

Ultimately, the improvements made through the grant will save the county money, he added.

The Dept. of Commerce gave grants to 18 cities and counties throughout the state, totaling $13 million in federal money. The Community Development Block Grant program targets assistance to benefit lower-income people in rural areas.

The selected projects will improve rural community water, sewer and street systems; construct housing, fire protection and social services facilities; and provide loans to microenterprises. The 18 projects were selected from 43 grant applications requesting more than $31 million.

More of this story will be in Friday's Union-Bulletin.

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