Mid Columbia/Columbia Gorge
Economic Development Strategy

2016 Strategy (pdf)

Project Priorities





The 2016 update to the 2012 comprehensive economic development strategy is now available. The strategy is undergoing a major rework, which is conducted every five years. The 2017 major rework is anticipated to be adopted in March of 2017 and will be posted here.

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2016 CEDS Report

Summary: In 2016 MCEDD updated the regional economic development strateg which provides a framework to support economic vitality for the Mid-Columbia region, which includes Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington and Hood River, Wasco, and Sherman counties in Oregon. The strategy includes analysis of regional economic data, establishes regional goals and strategies, develops an implementation plan, and identifies investment priorities and funding sources.

Click here for a pdf of the complete CEDS 2016 Report

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Oregon Technical Assistance/Public Works Projects




Hood River Bridge EIS
(Port of Hood River)

Matching funding to support completion of an Environmental Impact Statement for a new Hood River White Salmon Interstate Bridge.  The EIS is a vital step in the process of securing a replacement bridge, a critical transportation facility in the mid-Columbia Region. Funding to replace wire ropes, span guide rails and lift span electrical system on the existing Hood River/White Salmon Bridge, a critical transportation facility in the Mid-Columbia Region.


Hood River and Sherman Workforce Housing
(Hood River and Sherman counties)

Hood River County: Provide recommendations and engage in activities to achieve workforce housing in Hood River County. This project would be to perform a feasibility analysis and make recommendations on how to increase the amount of housing stock that would be within range of the average worker. This will include exploration of relocating both the City and County Maintenance Facilities to free up a prime residential development parcel as well as land banking as a potential strategy.

Sherman County: A housing plan is complete. Next step is to move forward on implementing the plan and partner with Mid-Col Housing to establish workforce housing.


Wasco County small cities water systems and wells: Mosier, Dufur, Wamic






Sherman County small cities water systems and wells: Rufus, Biggs, Kent

Mosier Well #5: The City currently is relying on one well for all of its supply needs, making the City vulnerable to a water outage due to failure of its sole source of supply (Well No. 4).   The decommissioning of Well No. 3 eliminated the City’s backup source of supply. A new well is the City’s highest infrastructure priority.

Wamic Water System Update & Reservoir Replaement: Wamic Water and Sanitary Authority has an old system that is being replaced pipe by pipe with repairs. They also have a reservoir that stores approximately 16,500 gallons of potable water. If there is a fire incident, this is not enough water to support the system and fight the fire.  The project will update the distribution system and build a bigger reservoir. A system assessment study is underway which will be completed this year.

Dufur Water System Assessment: The City of Dufur's water system is fed by one well in town, and one well out of town, with a backup well in place.  The main well that feeds the City is an artesian well that has had some challenges with pressure over the last several years. These issues have brought up concerns about the long term capacity of the system, so the City is looking to update their water system assessment to identify steps needed to support current population and potential growth

Rufus Water System Master Plan: The project would allow the City to conduct a current assessment of their water system to address potential future compliance issues.

Biggs Water System: Design and construction for a municipal water system in Biggs. Currently several wells serve the service district. Project would include the upgrade of two existing wells, drill a new well, new reservoir, pump station, and distribution system. Future development is limited due to the lack of a water system. Fire protection is limited.

Kent Well: A study has been done to determine if there is a water source in Kent to drill a new well. The current well does not allow for new growth.


Dog River Pipeline
(City of The Dalles)

The Dog River pipeline, which is an important component of The Dalles’ public drinking water supply and currently transports over 50% of the City’s annual water supply, was constructed in the early 20th century. It is a 3.5 mile long wooden pipeline that consists of milled pieces of fir that were assembled in a circular shape and wrapped with heavy-gauge wire and coated with tar. Over the past 100 years, this pipe has deteriorated, is leaking from tree damage, and exhibiting corrosion. Because the pipe is in poor condition, the City plans to replace it in 2017-18.  The new pipeline is planned to be constructed of 24-inch-diameter ductile iron pipe, larger than the existing 20-inch wooden pipe.  The capacity of the pipeline will increase from 8 to 17 million gallons per day to supply future municipal water demands. ndustrial Park Infrastructure: Includes new cul-de-sac roadway, curbs, bike lanes, sidewalks, looped water line, sewer upgrades, storm water system, power pole realignment, and emergency access road to the 8-lot industrial property subdivision.


Bridge of the Gods Maintenance

This estimate stems from the ongoing maintenance and preservation plan to support continued utilization of this vital infrastructure connecting Cascade Locks to Stevenson, WA. The plan includes welding, spot painting, redecking, pedestrian safety improvements, and toll collection technology. Addresses items in the Port of Cascade Locks’ 10 year bridge maintenance and operations plan.


Cascade Locks Truck Route

This project seeks to add a west bound on ramp at this intersection allowing trucks to easily come into and out of the Business Park and access I-84 heading west, as well as widen and rebuild Forest Lane/Frontage Road from Cramblett Way to Exit 47 for trucks. East bound trucks on I-84 would also be able to come through the State Weigh Station, access the frontage service road immediately south of I-84 and travel to the Cascade Locks Business Park with this project. Additional improvements would be incorporated on surface streets to accommodate these access points effectively and safely. pgrade the interstate bridge at the Port of Hood River to improve the wearing surface of the bridge to improve safety conditions and ensure the longevity of the structure. Immediate priority projects include re-paving the north approach ramp, repairing the auxiliary brace connections and repairing concrete on some of the piers.


Wasco Campus Development

An architect has been retained to research the best options for the existing buildings at the site. The project would involve redevelopment of the buildings which were previously the school at the Wasco campus.


Sherman Downtown Improvement Plans

Sherman County in conjunction with other cities of the county developed a downtown master plan to spur private and public investments in beautification and economic revitalization. Each city council is moving forward in their respective cities, however some still require additional technical assistance to move their plans forward.


Redecking of The Dalles Bridge

Scoping currently underway by ODOT


Historic Columbia River Highway

Completion of the Historic Columbia River Highway bike and pedestrian trail.

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Washington Technical Assistance/Public Works Projects




Columbia Gorge Regional Airport Aircraft De-icing Area (Columbia Gorge Regional Airport)

Airport is seeking funding to construct a de-icing area for planes, and to properly dispose of de-icing liquid. This will result in an increase in air traffic, value, and usefulness in winter months.


John Day Pool Pumped Storage Hydro (Klickitat County)

Conduct analysis of the economic value of a pumped storage hydro project in Klickitat County.


Wind River Business Park Water/Wastewater (Port of Skamania)

The Wind River Business Park is one of just three industrial parks in Skamania County and contains approximately 300 acres of developable land. The Port needs to construct and upgrade the current water system to meet business needs. Multi-phase project involves i nstallation of a pump within Well #1, a pump house, a chlorine based disinfection system, and approximately 1,200 feet of water transmission mainline. This mainline will serve current and future water users within Wind River Business Park. At this time the transmission line will not connect to any other water system or mainlines within the Business Park nor will it connect to a reservoir. 


DIP Cornerstone (Port of Klickitat)

Port of Klickitat seeks $1.8 million of $3.3 million needed to construct an approximate 20,000 sq. ft. light industrial building at the Port's Dallesport location.


Rock Creek Cove EA (Skamania County)

Complete Phase II Environmental Assessment and development feasibility for Rock Cove property.

Stevenson Wastewater Plan Update (City of Stevenson)

The City’s wastewater system and plans last major update was in 1991/2 and the focus was on expansion of the plant to address the transition to a tourism economy. The City Council has identified the need to update the sewer plan which is a requirement from DOE. Potential upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant include new headworks with additional grit removal, addition of a second oxidation ditch, addition of a secondary UV disinfection process, and improved process control with addition of a SCADA system.

Russell Avenue Upgrade (City of Stevenson)

The project involves rehabilitation of water, sewer, and storm water lines. It also includes undergrounding of power and communication lines, sidewalk rehabilitation, paving the entire street, new street lights and landscaping. 

Airport Terminal Building Design (Columbia Gorge Regional Airport)
Klickitat County is seeking funding for design/engineering as the first phase in development of a modern facility to replace the aging Columbia Gorge Regional Airport Terminal Building in Dallesport, WA.
Klickitat County Broadband (Klickitat County)

Broadband access is critical to business development in Klickitat County, however that access is not available in many rural parts of the County. Significant barriers including dispersed populations and challenging terrain make this infrastructure investment costly. Working with communities, local internet service providers, County staff, and MCEDD, Klickitat County seeks to identify and implement opportunities to improve access in communities throughout the County.

Stevenson Town Plaza (Skamania EDC)

Develop town plaza in the existing courthouse lawn. Three concept designs have been developed and are currently available for community feedback. BNSF committed $50K.

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last updated: August 9, 2016
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Contact MCEDD for more information:
515 East Second Street • The Dalles, OR 97058
 phone: (541) 296-2266  • fax: (541) 296-3283