Pasco, Wash. - Pasco's economic development department could have a little more money to work with in the coming years.
On Monday night, the City Council approved an ordinance to move the revenue generated by the city's farm circles from the utility fund to an economic development fund.
The city rents out the land to farmers who use it to grow crops. For the last two decades, that rent money has gone toward maintenance, and paying off the debt used to purchase the farm circles. Now, those loans are nearly paid off.
"One of the goals of the City Council has been to diversify our city a little bit. We're clearly very good at building houses, but if we do a little more industrial and possibly commercial development to balance that out, that would potentially lower taxes for everybody," said Pasco Mayor Matt Watkins.
The change will provide a steady stream of funding for economic development, instead of relying on grant money. The city originally purchased the farm circles back in 1990. They're located north of town, just east of Highway 395.