SUNNYSIDE — The Port of Sunnyside is the “2019 Washington State Port of the Year,” selected from among 75 port districts in the state, Port Executive Director Jay Hester reported.
The award designation was named in December and presented to the Port Commissioners Tyler Schilperoort, Jim Grubenhoff and Arnold Martin.
Washington Public Port Association selected the Port for the honor based on its focus on the revitalization of Sunnyside’s downtown business core, while building and growing opportunities for local business expansion, along with recruiting new business, new jobs and creating economic development opportunities.
“We have worked long and hard to bring about the growth and revitalization we’re seeing come to fruition in Sunnyside. Our primary goal is economic development, in order to ensure family-wage job growth and provide a heightened quantity of life to the community of Sunnyside,” Port of Sunnyside Commissioner Tyler Schilperoort said of the award.
To stimulate economic growth, the Port of Sunnyside has purchased, revitalized or sold seven specific sites. From renovating a downtown farm building into the new home of Varietal Beer Company, renewing a former water department building that was converted into an incubator winery, now home to Co Dinn Cellars, to demolishing the former Carnation Milk Plant to accommodate future industrial development.
The Port of Sunnyside also ensured future job growth by selling 23 acres to the existing Darigold plant, recruiting Ostrom Mushroom Farms and Nutrien, which brought a combined 220 fulltime, year-round jobs to the community.
Port Commissioners are currently in the planning phase for a $12 million Port Industrial Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion, and $7.5 million project for treatment to clean and upgrade gas to pipeline quality and inject to the Williams pipeline.
The Port covers 10 percent of Yakima County and is one of the oldest inland port districts in the state.