Pasco's Heritage Industrial Center sson may have a new tenant now that the city can guarantee railway access.
The project is one of two rail projects in Pasco that will be finished thanks to $3.2 million the state Legislature dedicated in the capital budget that passed early Wednesday.
Pasco City Manager Gary Crutchfield said a company that needs rail access told the city earlier this week that the Heritage Industrial Center is on its short list.
Being able to say that the city now can build the final mile that will connect 40 acres the city owns in the industrial center off "A" Street to an existing rail switch near Road 40 East may make the difference in the company deciding to come here or going to another state, Crutchfield said.
The state has dedicated $1.8 million for the industrial center rail spur and another $1.4 million for the final phase of the Port of Pasco's Big Pasco Industrial Park rail project.
Potential job creation was a key factor for deciding which projects received money in the capital budget, said Rep. Terry Nealey, R-Dayton.
"That is why these particular projects were chosen," he said.
The projects showed that jobs would be created, and not just with construction, Nealey said. The rail projects create opportunities for economic development that will boost the economy of the Tri-Cities.
Crutchfield said he hopes to see the first rail-served industrial investment committed to the business park in the next two years.
That will kick-start industrial development in that area, he said.
Funding for the project was one of the city's top legislative goals for this year with the goal of broadening the city's tax base.