West Plains economic development area proposed

City Council, County Commission to consider PDA

Brian Coddington, Communications Director, 625.6740

Monday, July 10, 2017 at 4:26 p.m.

A proposed economic development area on the West Plains would create a new partnership to attract new manufacturing and aerospace development that will grow jobs in the area, officials said Monday.

The designation, known as a Public Development Authority, is a partnership between the City of Spokane, Spokane County and Spokane International Airport that would include the geographic areas of the airport plus some bordering property west, south and east of the airport. The City Council and County Commission will separately consider this week a memorandum of understanding that outlines a 20-year agreement for revenue and debt sharing, annexation, governance, initial funding and other considerations within the PDA boundaries (PDF 960 KB).

“This unique partnership is another way for us to grow economic investment and jobs in the Spokane area that benefit residents of the city and county by leveraging one of the region’s greatest assets, the Spokane International Airport, rather than compete across geographic boundaries,” Spokane Mayor David Condon said.

The PDA designation would align resources and services to support targeted investments consistent with advancing the airport layout plan and furthering aerospace supply chain and other industrial development. Both have been identified as areas for potential economic growth on the West Plains.

“The county and city both have significant interest in the success of the airport and surrounding industrial areas,” County Commissioner Al French said. “The PDA helps all three partners fulfill their respective organizational missions and responsibilities to the citizens we serve.”

Under the agreement, the city and county will, share and pay to the PDA 75 percent of all incremental increases in tax revenues within its geographic boundaries, and jointly back future debt of the PDA. Additionally, the city will not pursue further annexation within the PDA boundaries during the duration of the agreement.

“The PDA helps us direct resources to areas we have identified for target investment and leverage existing industry strengths,” Council President Ben Stuckart said.

“As identified in the most recent Master Plan update, the Airport possesses property that is surplus to its aeronautical needs that can be leased or sold. The PDA is an excellent tool that allows the City and County to assist in preparing the property for industrial development. The proceeds from either the lease or purchase and sale agreement will be reinvested in a manner that supports the Airport’s aeronautical functions. Our PDA partners realize increased sales and property tax revenue and the region benefits from the recruitment of jobs that provide livable family wages,” Spokane Airport Board Chair Collins Sprague said.

The PDA will be the first joint effort of its kind between the city, county and airport. The city also has PDAs in Hillyard and the University District.