Council considers support for a huge grant request

By on Tuesday, September 14th, 2021 in Columbia Basin News Columbia Basin Top Stories

COLLEGE PLACE – At its regular meeting tonight (Tuesday) at 7, the College Place City Council will consider adopting a resolution supporting the Walla Walla Community College grant application into the U.S. Economic Development Administration Build Back Better Grant program. The city is working with WWCC, the city of Walla Walla and Walla Walla University to apply for a $44.2 million regional coalition grant.

The grant proposal revolves around housing, remote work, and an artisan kitchen. The general concept is to apply for $26 million for the construction of broadband and/or fiber to homes in both College Place and Walla Walla. Walla Walla County is already receiving a $2 million state grant via the Port of Walla Walla for unincorporated areas.

The education component is to reestablish trade programs at WWCC as well as establish 3D printed house programming at Walla Walla University. A third component is workforce housing at $9.2 million to build 40 demonstration 3D printed homes.

The other element is to construct a commercial kitchen somewhere in the urbanized area of the valley. A fourth component is to cover the administrative costs for WWCC as well as provide seed funding of $75,000 for two years for an executive director position for the Common Roots Land Trust, a community-based organization that owns land and develops housing to create permanently affordable homes.

The council will also consider motion to approve an ordinance adopting the Walla Walla Regional Housing Action Plan. The plan examines housing affability, housing needs and gaps, access, and structural diversity issues as well as strategies and actions to be taken. The plan also highlights existing housing conditions and issues and forecasts future needs based on changing demographic and socio-economic conditions. While significant steps have already been taken by the cities of College Place, Dayton, Waitsburg and Walla Walla – all of whom are involved in the regional housing action plan – the plan lists new housing policies and actions that can be taken for each city to further enhance housing opportunities.

Tonight’s meeting may be view on the city’s YouTube channel or via Zoom. The meeting ID number is 838 5945 9491.