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Port set
to capture solar power

   The roof of the Walla Walla Regional Airport Terminal Building will soon be home to a solar energy panel system being installed by a non-profit corporation organized for "charitable, scientific and educational purposes."
   Walla Walla Flat Roof Education Energy (FREE) is owner of the community solar project as defined by Washington State legislation adopted in 2009. The program calls for the state to provide incentives for installation of solar projects of less than 75 kW at the property of qualified public entities
   FREE says the airport system will generate up to 75 kW which will be used at the airport terminal building. It is estimated that the terminal's power costs will be reduced by some $7,000 per year.
   Officials of FREE say incentives to the shareholders will be used to fund scholarships at Whitman College, Walla Walla University, Walla Walla Community College and Walla Walla High School.

Port Commission
meeting audio now available on the Web

   If you want to listen to Port of Walla Walla Commission meetings...without actually attending the sessions...you can now do it with your computer and/or wireless devices. The recordings of regular Port meetings are available on the Port's website...usually within a few days after the actual meeting date.
   The service is being offered to give citizens a more convenient way to keep informed on the Port's economic development initiatives and policy decisions of the Port Commission.
   Those interested can hear the audio tracks by visiting the Port's website:

www.portwallawalla.com/ port-information/port-meetings/recorded-minutes

SBDC open for business in new office
at Walla Walla Regional Airport

   Walla Walla's Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is now operating from the terminal building at the airport. The move from the Port of Walla Walla's administrative office building is a major step in establishing the special advisory service as the "go to" agency for local businesses seeking help in the start-up and growth at their businesses.
   Joe Jacobs, director of Walla Walla's SBDC office and a certified business advisor, says his "dream job" lets him tap the benefits of his experience - as well as a vast network of resources - to help advise local business operators in free one-on-one sessions.
   Jacobs moved into his current position in January, 2012 more than a year after the local SBDC was closed due to the loss of state funding. To get the center back on track, Partnership Walla Walla - a consortium that includes public and private interests from Walla Walla, Columbia and Umatilla (OR) counties - pledged sufficient funding to match federal funding to generate a total budget of some $130,000.
   In 2012, the Port contributed $10,000 to the business service and provides its office location as an "in kind" contribution.
   Jacobs says his office gets as many as two-to-three inquiries per day and is
currently working with 28 active clients.
   For details about SBDC in Walla Walla call 509-527-4781 or e-mail Jacobs at joe.jacobs@wsbdc.org.
SBDC Director Joe Jacobs is ready to welcome clients to the agency's new offices in the terminal building at the Walla Walla Regional Airport. Photo by Donna Lasater

New auditor, project manager join Port team

   Donna Watts and Paul Wemhoener were named in 2012 to key positions on the Port of Walla Walla's administrative team.
   Watts serves as the agency's auditor/treasurer with responsibilities for overseeing day-to-day accounting functions and internal controls for the Port. She holds a Master's Degree in accounting and financial management and has earned CPA credentials.
   Wemhoener has been selected as Project Manager with duties relating to assissting the Port in managing its capital projects. He currently is managing the permitting and engineering design activities related to the Burbank Business Park. Wemhoener is a retired civil engineer, having served over 34 years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
designing and managing water resource projects in the Columbia and Missouri river basins.

Photo by Donna Lasater

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