Small town to get grape crushing plant
GEORGE, Wash. — Milbrandt Vineyards, of Mattawa, plans to build a $6 million wine grape crushing facility as the first tenant in the Port of Quincy’s new industrial park in the city of George.
Some site development and equipment acquisition may happen this year with construction to occur in phases over three years, said Jennifer Johnson, Milbrandt’s financial manager.
While Johnson said the plant will employ fewer than five people, it will provide tax revenues for this town of 500 people that has been economically depressed for years. George’s unemployment rate is 21 percent, according to the Grant County Economic Development Council.
The crushing plant will be known as Ancient Lakes Winery and will crush the grapes of about 1,000 acres of white grapes from the company’s Evergreen Vineyard at George and Ancient Lakes Vineyard overlooking the Columbia River southwest of Quincy, Johnson said.
Milbrandt’s purchase of 13 acres in the industrial park is contingent upon the port and city providing city water, said Curt Morris, president of the Port of Quincy.
The port and city will begin drilling a well soon with Grant County commissioners’ recent approval of use of state money in a grant of $183,000 and loan of $70,000 to pay for the well, Morris said. The well will serve all six lots of the port’s industrial park No. 5 which is 74 acres currently in hay fields north of Interstate 90 and south of PureGrow Fertilizer Co., he said.
The port and city will pay back the loan and the city will own the well as part of the city water system, Morris said. The industrial park has been annexed into the city, he said.
“We hope this will get things moving for the industrial park and the city,” Morris said. “It will add revenues to the city which they can use.”