HANFORD, Calif. (KFSN) --Officials from the U.S. Department of Commerce were in Hanford Wednesday, announcing the award of a $3 million grant to go towards a major infrastructure project on the city's east side.
The new east side Costco is under construction, and eventually will be surrounded by a 500,000 square-foot shopping center. The developer of Hanford Marketplace says it will bring a total of 1,900 jobs, and sales in excess of $200 million dollars.
But before any of that happens, the city must build a 3.5-mile sanitary sewer trunk line extension. It's been a missing piece of infrastructure that has long limited development on Hanford's east side.
"This is that rare situation that if you build it, they will come," said Hanford City Manager Darrel Pyle. "And it's coming."
The project costs $6.7 million, and the city will cover a little more than half of the cost. The rest will be paid for by the federal government, or more specifically, the Economic Development Administration.
Its director, Jay Williams, says the EDA doesn't just hand out money left and right. It's a competitive process, and he says Hanford earned it.
"(The) city of Hanford did a great job in laying out the merits of this project that ultimately allowed it to compete successfully for the $3 million investment," Williams said.
"This is a long-term relationship and we'll be doing paperwork and reporting and sending progress reports to the federal government for the next 10 years," Pyle said.
This is not the first EDA grant for Hanford. Ten years ago, the federal agency invested in the vocational center operated by College of the Sequoias. For this project, Williams says a sewer line may not sound sexy, but at the end of the day, it's necessary.
"You have to have infrastructure," Williams said. "When you're talking about developing a site like this that's going to be commercial and retail-- or whether you're talking about building an innovation project, or a Silicon Valley, you have to start with that basic infrastructure."
Officials say the infrastructure will allow for future housing opportunities in the area, and improve the overall quality of life. Costco is expected to open by late October.
Cities can apply for these kinds of grants by going to eda.gov.