State delivers on $5 million loan for Red Mountain irrigation project

The Kennewick Irrigation District will receive a $5 million no-interest loan from the state to help fund the district’s project to bring Yakima River water to prime grape-growing land on Red Mountain.

The loan was part of the budget approved by the state Legislature last weekend, officials told KID’s board on Tuesday.

That loan is a critical part of paying for the $20 million project. The project depended on a total of $10 million loaned from the state. KID had already received half, but needed the other half to stay on schedule.

Officials hope to have river water flowing to all 1,785 acres in the Red Mountain American Viticultural Area between Richland and Benton City by summer 2014, about a year earlier than originally anticipated.

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