Projects inch closer to federal funding

Projects to revitalize a wharf and promote economic development near receiving federal funding.

Whidbey projects to revitalize a century-old wharf and encourage economic development inched closer to receiving almost a half-million dollars in federal funding.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen, D-Arlington, announced July 21 that projects for Port of Coupeville and Goosefoot Community Fund were included in a draft bill from the House Appropriations Committee for a combined $482,625 in federal funding.

The Coupeville Wharf could receive $136,000 to install 400 feet of new water and sewer pipe along the walkway to the century-old building. The project has already received $870,804 from the Island County Rural Economic Development Fund for the pile and cap placement phase of the project, and $303,000 from the state Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation through the Ebey’s Landing National Historic Reserve for seismic stabilization and a new roof, according to port Executive Director Chris Michalopoulos.

The Goosefoot Community Fund could receive $346,625 for its community kitchen project it is working on with the Port of South Whidbey at the fairgrounds in Langley.

The project was delayed after initial bids came in over budget last year, but Marian Myszkowski said the groups tweaked the designs a bit to lower the cost.

The new money would go toward construction costs above the port’s budget.

The kitchen is meant to be an incubator space for burgeoning food businesses on the island.

“Yes, we’re not quite popping the champagne cork yet on this, but it is very promising,” she said.

The inclusion of the funding in the draft House appropriations committee is only the first step. Next, the draft bill will move forward to the full appropriations committee, and then for consideration on the House floor and then to negotiations with the U.S. Senate.