Benton County Receives 2017 Governor's Smart Communities Award
Posted on Tuesday July 25, 2017

The presentation of the 2017 Governor's Smart Communities Award recognizes and honors Benton County, the City of Kennewick, Port of Kennewick, and Columbia Basin College for their work in implementing a comprehensive plan for the Columbia Drive Urban Revitalization project. It recognizes that the project demonstrates excellence, innovation, and a creative approach to both planning, funding, and implementation. And it demonstrates a significant shift in the way the jurisdictions work together.

The project priorities were crafted through thoughtful and active community planning and an innovative approach to redevelopment objectives. It follows adoption of the Port of Kennewick’s 2016 Comprehensive Plan update, as well as multiple resolutions approved and Interlocal Agreements signed by the jurisdictions in support of the project. It involved significant public engagement in which the community, working through a “pattern language” process, identified the redevelopment activities and priorities. And it included a series of highly attended, public, stakeholder meetings, where citizens and businesses provided overwhelming support for reclaiming the tired industrial waterfront.

The City/Port/County/College partnership is a non-traditional approach to economic development; yet this cooperative approach is what is successfully turning the neglected and forgotten Columbia Drive Urban Revitalization Area land into a vibrant community gathering place. This revitalization effort has the partners working together as the catalyst for a mixed-use, multimodal, enology, culinary, and artisan-focused neighborhood.

The partnership is leveraging the strengths of each agency to transform an economically distressed area into a destination waterfront. This effort is fostering job creation, attracting new commercial development, and increasing tax revenues to benefit the local economy.

The partners are honored to receive the Governor’s 2017 Smart Communities Smart Partnerships Award for their efforts in the Columbia Drive Urban Revitalization Project, and proud to have been chosen to receive the award from an impressive body of work submitted from around the state.

Benton County    620 Market Street    Prosser, Washington 99350
Phone: (509) 786-5710 or (509) 783-1310
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