Commission Special Projects


The Port of Olympia Commission has approved a total of seven special projects consistent with the commission adopted strategic plan, which prioritizes creating economic opportunity, serving as an environmental steward and maintaining and enhancing popular community assets. 

On February 25, 2019, the Commission approved support of the Senior Services of South Sound community kitchen feasibility study and the Lacey MakerSpace.  On February 26, 2018, the Commission approved five special projects that support Thurston County agriculture, honor a local Tribal leader, and give constituents a direct say in future Port initiatives. 

The approved projects are consistent with the Commission’s strategic goals. 

The Projects

  • Matching funds ($19,000) to support a community kitchen feasibility study in partnership with Washington State University, Thurston Economic Development Council (EDC), and Senior Services of South Sound. This project will explore the feasibility of a community kitchen where all Senior Services meals can be prepared. This project contributes to the larger agricultural sector development efforts the Port has supported.  Read more about Senior Services of South Sound.
  • Matching funds ($15,000) to support investment in the Lacey MakerSpace project for purchase of equipment and operational expenses in partnership with Thurston EDC, Saint Martin’s University and City of Lacey. The Lacey MakerSpace will be a community center that will contain industrial quality equipment, access for local businesses to equipment, and technology and fabricators. In addition, Lacey MakerSpace will provide training on use of computers and equipment, and foster collaboration for those with similar interests.  Read more.
  • Matching funds ($75,000) to complete a Master Plan for the SW Washington Innovation and Business Park in Tenino. The goal of this project is to create a regional hub for agriculture education and business development, in partnership with the Thurston Economic Development Council.  Read more.
  • Matching funds ($15,000) to support a frozen food processing feasibility study, in partnership with Washington State University (WSU) Extension. The study will produce supply, demand, and price-point data necessary to determine whether a food-processing facility could be supported in the region and create a value-added market for local farmers.  Read more.
  • Matching funds ($10,500) for a WSU Extension-led grain mill feasibility study and grain varietal plot testing.  This project will quantify grain production capacity and business opportunities in specialty markets including organic feed, brewing and distilling. Varietal trials will determine what grains are best adapted to this climate. The project will lead to better connecting local growers with regional markets and examine start-up costs related to a possible grain handling and storage facility.  Read more.
  • Matching funds ($25,000) for improvements at the former East Bay Trail and North Point Park, which will be renamed to Billy Frank Jr. Trail and Park in honor of the late leader and his messages.  The project, conducted in partnership with the Frank Family and Squaxin Island Tribe, will include installation of kiosks highlighting Billy Frank Jr.’s legacy and history of the Squaxin Island Tribe.  Additional signage will provide information about native plants, the Puget Sound environment and recent Native American Canoe Landings.  Read more.
  • $120,000, for a community-wide visioning process to help set the stage for future Port investments. The goal of this initiative is to proactively engage Thurston County residents and stakeholders in a discussion about the future of the Port. Funding will cover professional assistance, outreach expenses and plan production for 2018. This project is now underway.  Read more.