Richland plans for the future

Richland plans for the future
RICHLAND, Wash. - The past year has seen a lot of growth in the Richland area. New houses and new apartments went up, new roads were built, all pointing towards financial stability.

Neighbor Josh Barthuly said, "But can it last? I hope so, I think so?

He may have the same questions you do. He has three kids and hopes they will be able to raise their kids in the Tri-Cities as well.
Josh is currently benefiting from decisions made long ago.

Gary Ballew, Richland's Economic Development manager said, "What's happening today is investments that we've made 20 years ago."

It's this way of thinking that got the ball rolling. Richland asked for a bond worth more than five million dollars from the state. The city has to match that amount.

The money is intended to revitalize a community. Eleven million dollars will build roads, warehouses and other infrastructure at the Port of Benton in the north end of town.

The ultimate goal is to fill those warehouses with new businesses that bring new jobs.

For the city, teaming up with the port seemed to be a no brainer, using what already works, bringing in big businesses to secure the financial future.

Building up the manufacturing mall will add to the ranks of PNNL, Furgeson and Energy Solutions. Con Agra is already on board. Richland expects it's kind of a "if you build it, they will come."

KEPR asked, "How hard is it to get companies in here?

Gary Ballew said, "Well I won't say it's hard because Tri-cities is a great place to be but you know we have challenges. We compete with folks looking to go to China or India or to Europe."

It's important they come here to keep your own property and sales taxes low. The more money brought in from these businesses means less needed from you.

Police and fire departments would be stable on resources. Parks will continue to grow. The quality of life could remain the same. Providing a real future for generations to come.

"I think it's going to work out for our family very well here." said Josh.

Building projects in north Richland area have already started.

New shops are expected to open by next spring.