GRANDVIEW — After visiting the High School, Congressman Dan Newhouse (R-WA) spent time with members of the Chamber of Commerce on March 4.

Expressing his thoughts about the community and strength of support it provides the schools, he said the economic development is noticed by those living in other communities.

“Things are going well,” Newhouse said, commenting he’s recognized changes in Grandview as a resident of Sunnyside.

“It’s noticeable,” he said.

City Administrator Cus Arteaga said the City Council has worked diligently to improve infrastructure, making economic development possible.

Partnerships with the School District and Port of Grandview are important for making strides and bringing employers to the community, he voiced.

“The Port had a very successful 2018,” Arteaga said, adding the city is now working with a retail recruiter to determine how it might bring additional businesses to Grandview.

Developers and businesses have also inquired at City Hall, looking at fees and costs for subdivision developments and retail operations, he told Newhouse.

Mayor Gloria Mendoza said the City Council and former Mayor Norm Childress have been forward thinking. She chose to be mayor to continue the work that has been completed.

Owner of Christensen, Gary Christensen, stood and said he is pleased with the work Newhouse has been doing in Washington, D.C.

Newhouse is one of few representatives who understands business and farming, he said.

“People don’t understand the technology for replacing fossil fuels just isn’t here,” Christensen said, noting how frightening it is to hear ideas other lawmakers share on the news.

Newhouse was also told of the work Grandview Church of Nazarene is doing. Pastor Wes Hershberger said they are helping people “caught in between,” those who don’t qualify for state or federal assistance.

Seeking to hear some of the challenges businesses have, Newhouse asked the chamber members to share if they had any thoughts.

“Transportation is the biggest challenge,” the general manager of Walmart Distribution Center, Cathlin Foster, half joked.

The winter weather has hindered transportation across Snoqualmie Pass at times, she noted.

The room laughed, and Newhouse acknowledged he was of the belief the construction on the pass was meant to help.

There was a general agreement in the room that there have been fewer avalanches, but there have still been closures because of the weather.

In addition to the discussions about economic development, Newhouse took time to laud the bipartisan effort to pass recent legislation for the Yakima Basin Enhancement Project after 30 years.

“If you listen to the news, you wouldn’t think a lot is getting accomplished in Washington, D.C.,” he said.

However, lawmakers passing the Lands Package will be good for housing, agriculture and the environment, Newhouse said.

“I think it will be positive for the valley and the entire state,” he said, noting it allows for homes, employment and overall economic growth.

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