Commission Special Projects
On February 26, 2018, the Port of Olympia Commission approved five special projects that support Thurston County agriculture, honor a local Tribal leader, and give constituents a direct say in future Port initiatives. This is the first set of Commission investments approved following adoption of a new Strategic Plan.
The plan prioritizes creating economic opportunity, serving as an environmental steward and maintaining and enhancing popular community assets. The five newly-approved projects are consistent with the Commission’s strategic goals.
- Matching funds ($75,000) to complete a Master Plan for the SW Washington Innovation and Business Park in Tenino. The goal of this project is to create a regional hub for agriculture education and business development, in partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council. Read more.
- Matching funds ($15,000) to support a frozen food processing feasibility study, in partnership with Washington State University (WSU) Extension. The study will produce supply, demand, and price-point data necessary to determine whether a food-processing facility could be supported in the region and create a value-added market for local farmers. Read more.
- Matching funds ($10,500) for a WSU Extension-led grain mill feasibility study and grain varietal plot testing. This project will quantify grain production capacity and business opportunities in specialty markets including organic feed, brewing and distilling. Varietal trials will determine what grains are best adapted to this climate. The project will lead to better connecting local growers with regional markets and examine start-up costs related to a possible grain handling and storage facility. Read more.
- Matching funds ($25,000) for improvements at the former East Bay Trail and North Point Park, which will be renamed to Billy Frank Jr. Trail and Park in honor of the late leader and his messages. The project, conducted in partnership with the Frank Family and Squaxin Island Tribe, will include installation of kiosks highlighting Billy Frank Jr.’s legacy and history of the Squaxin Island Tribe. Additional signage will provide information about native plants, the Puget Sound environment and recent Native American Canoe Landings. Read more.
- $120,000, for a community-wide visioning process to help set the stage for future Port investments. The goal of this initiative is to proactively engage Thurston County residents and stakeholders in a discussion about the future of the Port. Funding will cover professional assistance, outreach expenses and plan production for 2018. This project is now underway. Read more.