Decisions still need to be made on future of old mill site - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Decisions still need to be made on future of old mill site

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- In front of a packed house, Yakima City Council members and County Commissioners continue to try and hammer out details on the future of the old Boise Cascade Mill Site. A place better known for fires, than for making money. Something they all hope to change.                                                                             

"It's an economic development driver for, obviously immediately for the City of Yakima but it certainly benefits the whole county," said Yakima County Commissioner, Rand Elliot.

And it's a big benefit too. It's estimated that developing the area could create over 4,600 jobs and bring in over $400 million in tax revenue over the next 30 years.

But there's a long way to go before any money is made. Right now, the city is trying to take advantage of state "LIFT Funding." Money that expires every year it's not used, and they've already lost out on over a million dollars.

But City Manager Tony O'Rourke says they now have a plan in place to take full advantage of those dollars.

"Clearly infrastructure was the root interest in that funding. It's to pay for roads, land improvements, water, sewer, things of that nature," said O'Rourke.

All improvements they hope will attract businesses to the area once they get it developed.

"It's a complex site with real challenges, but if we can see ourselves through those challenges we have a hugely viable productive site for the community," said O'Rourke.