West Richland to begin Cooperative Way this summer
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. – The intersection of West Van Giesen and Keene Road in West Richland is slated to become a major hub of the city.
Public Works Director Roscoe slate said with massive population growth in West Richland comes the need for more public services and infrastructure improvements. Months ago, the city purchased 92 acres of land near the racetrack, which is where the new fire department building was constructed, in addition to the new police department building.
“A lot of planning went into this and we knew where the growth was coming and it’s well positioned to handle that growth and it’s going to be the center of town sooner than later, Slade said.
“Third times the charm, we finally found some,” Troy Berglund said they’ve been looking for land for quite some time, “our membership has grown dramatically, our employees have grown dramatically,” he said.
Slade calls it a ‘win-win,’ because the land needs infrastructure work, work that Benton REA can help with.
“When I say long process, it’s not just buying property, there’s a lot of infrastructure needed out there, that’s where the Cooperative Way project comes in and we basically partnered with Benton REA because of infrastructure costs associated with developing 18 acres,” Slade said.
The project name says it all, but there’s more than new Benton REA headquarters planned for this area.
“Extending the road, extending water main, extending fiber to the site, widening Keene Road; it was over $1 million,” Slade said.
The city was able to secure grants and loans
from the Washington State Department of Commerce as well as some funding from Benton County. As for Benton REA, they’ll execute their project in phases to prevent member rates from rising.
“We’ll do an initial phase, administration buildings, our main admin office and then we’ll have plenty of property to expand the warehouses, lay down yards, vehicle storage. If we can partner and collaborate to help each other out, it helps the entire community,” Berglund continued.
The REA will keep its buildings in Prosser, Berglund said they hope to use their older buildings but move a majority of operations into their West Richland office. He said a designer hasn’t been chosen yet, but they’re excited and hopeful for this big move.
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