Utilities

Yakima County enjoys reliable and affordable sources of natural gas, electricity, water, and other utilities.  Electric power costs are among the lowest in the nation, offering a crucial advantage to a variety of companies whose need cost effective electricity.  Yakima County offers growing companies first-class utility services:

Hydroelectric dams on the Columbia and Snake Rivers provide Washington state with some of the lowest electric rates in the nation. Yakima County is served by two electric utilities companies, Pacific Power & Light Company, an investor-owned utility, and the Benton County Rural Electric Association.

Pacific Power & Light Company

Formed in 1910, Pacific Power & Light started from several small electric companies and served 7,000 customers in Astoria and Pendleton in Oregon, and Yakima and Walla Walla in Washington. Pacific Power serves portions of Yakima, Benton and Kittitas counties in the Yakima Valley. Building enduring relationships by working closely with state and local partners, PPL  helps communities enhance their economic vitality – attracting top companies and high-paying jobs.  For local inquires contact:

Toby Freeman
Regional Business Manager, Pacific Power
500 North Keys Road
Yakima, WA 98901
509-575-3115
509-575-3113 Fax
509-406-1057 Cellular
toby.freeman@pacificorp.com

Benton County Rural Electric Association

Benton REA Cooperative’s mission is to provide affordable, and reliable energy and other member driven compatible services that enhance the quality of life for all our members. What makes electric cooperatives like Benton REA so unique when compared to any other form of utility is that you, the member, are an owner of the cooperative. As an owner, you truly have a voice is how Benton REA operates. Benton REA serves parts of the Sunnyside community and east. For local inquires contact:

Troy Berglund
Community Development & Member Relations, Benton REA
(800)-221-6987
(509) 786-2913
troyb@bentonrea.org

Cascade Natural Gas Corporation distributes natural gas throughout Yakima County and quality service is available for all types of installations. An ample supply of natural gas from both U.S. and Canadian sources is expected to meet anticipated future demand.

Solid waste collection service is available throughout the region by municipal systems or private companies. There are two solid waste landfills and one transfer station within Yakima County. The area also offers recycling centers for a number of items.

Several cities in the Yakima Valley operate their own permitted industrial waste water treatment programs. The Port of Sunnyside operates a system dedicated to the treatment of industrial waste. The regional treatment plant operated by the city of Yakima also has a delegated industrial pretreatment program in place.

Digital telecommunications service is available to Yakima County customers through CenturyLink, Integra, and Charter Communications.  Fiber optic cables serve most areas within the county. There are several companies that offer competitive long distance and cellular services including Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and others.  Due in part to technological advances such as these, Yakima County is particularly well-suited for call centers and related industries.

Transportation

Yakima County is a natural transportation hub served by rail, air and trucking companies.  The region’s central location is particularly beneficial for companies that rely on effective and efficient access to key markets or suppliers:

Interstate 82 runs through the heart of Yakima County. The modern freeway links with Interstate 90 at Ellensburg, just 35 miles north of Yakima. I-90 connects Seattle with New York City. This close proximity to I-90 gives Yakima County excellent accessibility to the Puget Sound ports of Seattle and Tacoma, the gateway to burgeoning trade with the Asia-Pacific and Pacific Rim countries. I-82 also links with Interstate 84 to the south and an extensive network of state highways in all directions. On related levels, all thirteen Yakima County communities are within 45 minutes driving time from Yakima by a system of well-maintained federal, state, and county highways, including U.S. Highway 12 and 97, and State Highways 410, 241, 22 and 24.

Rail shipment to and from Yakima County is available via Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Union Pacific Railroad, and the Central Washington Railroad. There are over 200 active spurs located throughout the county that serve numerous industrial sites.

The Central Washington Railroad is the region’s primary freight rail provider working under contract with Burlington and Union Pacific to serve customers in the Yakima Valley.  Central Washington Railroad serves rail customers in Yakima, Union Gap, Moxee, Granger, Sunnyside, Grandview and Prosser:

Tim Kelly, COO
Central Washington Railroad
111 University Parkway
Yakima, WA  98901
509-453-9166
tkelly@cbrr.com or info@cbrr.com

There are a wide variety of commodities handled on this rail line. Examples of these commodities are cattle feed, propane, paper products, plastic pellets, cheese, juice concentrate, lumber, apples and other agricultural goods. The line’s central location in Washington State and its proximity to Interstate 82 makes it a highly desirable location for companies to locate and are relatively close to major metropolitan areas such as Seattle, Portland and Spokane.

The City of Yakima operates the Yakima Air Terminal. The airport features two runways: 7,603 and 4,293 in length. In 2009 there were over 61,000 passenger boardings from Yakima. The airport is served by Alaska Air with three flights daily to-and-from Seattle. McCormick Air Center  also offers private charter plane options available from Yakima as well. Yakima County offers additional air service options through the Tri-Cities (74 miles southeast of Yakima) and through the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport which is approximately 2 ½ hours west by car.

Containerized goods may be shipped through the nearby Port of Pasco. From there, shipments travel by barge on the Columbia River to the Port of Portland to be forwarded overseas. Yakima County also has excellent freeway access to the Puget Sound ports of Seattle and Tacoma, only 2 ½ hours or so away.

Within Yakima County there are 25 trucking firms registered for motor freight trucking – 16 for heavy hauling and three for local cartage. Due to the heavy volume of fresh fruit and produce shipped from the Yakima Valley, numerous independent truckers also serve the area on a consistent basis. Here is a list of the region’s major trucking firms:

Haney Truck Line LLC (509) 248-9300
Oak Harbor Freight Lines (509) 248-2811
Floyd Blinsky Trucking (509) 457-3484
Peninsula Truck Lines (509) 453-4367
Fiscus Motor Freight (509) 248-4265