News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) announced today the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will provide a $2.8 million loan to the City of Kennewick to help retain and expand the Welch's plant. The loan, combined with a $550,000 economic development initiative grant from HUD, will leverage $7 million in additional private and public support. Murray has contacted HUD in support of the grant and loan package on a number of occasions.

"I am pleased to announce this loan not only because it will save important jobs, but because of my strong family ties." said Murray. "In the early 1900s, my grandfather moved his family to the Tri-Cities to take a job at the Welch's plant. To my father, the plant was how his family put food on the table and paid the mortgage. This HUD loan will ensure that 179 workers will be able to continue putting food on their tables and paying their mortgage."

The City of Kennewick will re-lend the proceeds from the Section 108 loan to Welch Foods, Inc. to modernize and expand its Kennewick food processing plant. Without the improvements, the plant would be forced to close, resulting in the loss of 129 full-time jobs. Not only will this loan enable Kennewick to retaining the existing jobs, but the expansion of the operation is projected to create an additional 50 new jobs, for a total of 179.

The Welch's plant is located within the core of the City's Neighborhood Revitalization Strategy Area and serves as an employment anchor, which is critical to the City of Kennewick's efforts aimed at the stabilization of the its central business district.