Tri-Cities community honored by governor - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Tri-Cities community honored by governor

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KENNEWICK, WA - The Kennewick Wine Village is still a ways away from welcoming its first visitors. But today, the partnership that helped make it a reality was honored by the governor.

The non-traditional approach that brought together the City of Kennewick, the Port of Kennewick, Benton County, and Columbia Basin College is exactly what a project of this size needed...and it's an approach that could be an example to other communities in our state.

During a ceremony today at the future home of the Columbia Gardens Wine and Artisan Village, William Simpson with the State Department of Commerce applauded the partnership, calling it a knock-out project good for tourists and locals alike.

Things he says make the area a wonderful place to live, work, and play...and deserving of the governor's Smart Partnerships Award.

For Kennewick Mayor Steve Young, the project is an example of how improving one area can benefit the whole region.

"What we're doing here is really something special, and is an example of how we are truly leading the way in this region and in this state," Mayor Young said.

In total, seven counties, nine cities, two ports, and one college across the state were honored as smart communities by the governor.

So what's next for the wine village?

The heavy winter snow pushed the completion date back a little bit, but it is expected to open later this summer.