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Spin Control

Posts tagged: state Commerce Department

State taps reserve for businesses hurt by bridge outage

OLYMPIA — Washington will spend $150,000 from the Economic Development Strategic Reserve for a program to let the public know that businesses in and around Skagit County are open, even though a section of the I-5 bridge is down.

Gov. Jay Inslee today said he directed the state Commerce Department to tap the reserve to help get the word out about alternate routes while the state works on a temporary and a permanent fix to the Skagit River Bridge. The money will be used for marketing and promotion efforts, not just for Skagit but for Whatcom, San Juan and Island counties, who are likely to feel the pinch. The state may also apply for a disaster declaration from the Small  Business Administration after it collects data on the economic impact.

Money from the reserve will be used to develop a marketing program to tell people what businesses and attractions are open and how to access them on alternate routes or ferries.

“People need to know that these counties are open for business and that the bridge collapse need not interfere with vacation, business or recreation plans,” Commerce Director Brian Bonlender said in press release announcing the money.

A section of the 58-year-old bridge collapsed into the river last Thursday evening after a truck collided with some of the support structure. Traffic will be detoured to other bridges at least until next month while a temporary replacement section is built and installed. A more permanent replacement section might be finished by September. 

Martindale to get $2.5 million state loan

Washington state will loan the Spokane Housing Authority more than $2.5 million to help turn the old Hillyard High School into apartments for homeless and low-income residents.

The loan is among some $22.5 million in loans and grants from the state Commerce Department’s Housing Trust Fund announced Wednesday by Gov. Chris Gregoire’s office.

“We’re very happy about that,” Steve Cervantes, executive director of the Spokane Housing Authority, said. “We have all the elements to make this work.”

The project will restore much needed housing and the construction will provide economic stimulus in the community, he said.

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About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

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