Two downtown business properties have recently sold, and the GrapeFest planned for Sept. 10 will be a centennial celebration.
Merrianne Door, president of the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership, told the Kennewick City Council on Tuesday that this year's GrapeFest will feature a juggling school, more street entertainment than in prior years and a downtown display from the museum about past GrapeFests, which date back to 1911.
Her update came as part of the downtown partnership's semi-annual report to the council from Tim Dalton, executive director.
Dalton said the recent sales of the long vacant Department of Revenue building on Kennewick Avenue at Auburn Street, and the Keene Floral building on First Avenue are good indications that the downtown area will have new businesses soon.
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-- The council heard a presentation from representatives of the Kennewick Irrigation District.
Scott Revell, KID planning manager, said a recent cost of service survey is being used to help redesign the district's rate structure for customers.
Revell said the Water Rate Advisory Committee spent more than a year looking at how to make the assessments more equitable for 22,000 customers.
He said the new rates won't be ready to be made public for several more months.
-- City Manager Marie Mosley reported progress on completing the city's pay for performance program for department heads and managers. She said the mid-year review shows everyone is on track and those who met the goals will be eligible for a potential retroactive pay to January.
-- Karen McGinnis, director of the HAMMER training facility in north Richland, provided an update on the training activities and specialized facilities. She said the center, which is operated by Mission Support Alliance, provides approximately 40,000 student-days of training annually.
-- Diahann Howard, director of Economic Development and Governmental Affairs for the Port of Benton, gave an overview of the Tri-City Research District in north Richland. The 1,700-acre area is expected to become a magnet for attracting businesses that focus on energy storage and bio-sciences, she said.