Tri-Cities community learned about the ‘state of the cities’ at annual luncheon

Tri-Cities community learned about the ‘state of the cities’ at annual luncheon

Tri-Cities is set to hit a population of 300,000 this year, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon.

“We’re seeing that migration from the west side of the state in Richland,” said Richland Mayor Bob Thompson. “And what you’re seeing here is just a portion of what’s happening across the Tri-Cities.”

Economic growth was one of the major talking points at the annual State of the Cities luncheon on Wednesday, hosted by the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Mayor Thompson said there were 1,239 new business licenses in Richland in 2018 alone. Thompson, along with the three other Tri-Cities mayors, all touched on ways their respective cities have grown over the past year as well as projects and goals that are currently underway. Common themes addressed by all of the mayors were improving infrastructure and roads, improving quality of life and reconnecting the main parts of the cities to the Columbia River waterfront.

Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins will be stepping down from his position in December and reflected on his time serving as mayor for the past decade.

“Pasco has seen some challenges…now, the average assessed value is narrowing between Pasco and the other cities,” he said. “Pasco also used to be the smallest city and it’s now the second biggest.”

Watkins discussed some of Pasco’s other recent accomplishments, including being an All-American City finalist for the second year and its police department earning national and state accreditation. Watkins also touched on many of the ongoing projects to expand or improve Pasco, including a future Lewis Street Overpass and the Broadmoor development.

“Each city has its differences but they all add to the flavor that is the Tri-Cities,” said Watkins.

The Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce launched myTRI 2030 in earlier this year – a “shared vision for the region,” inspiring growth through collaborative action. To learn more about myTRI 2030 or get involved, click here.