WENATCHEE — The Chelan County Commission is working to create an economic development position.

The purpose of the position will be to attract businesses to unincorporated Chelan County, Commissioner Kevin Overbay said. It will be similar to a role played by Steve King for the city of Wenatchee.

The Chelan County Commission is developing the job description, Overbay said. The commission will later need to pass a formal resolution to create the position.

The county will fund the position using its distressed county sales tax, which is earmarked for economic development, he said.

The person’s salary would depend on qualifications, but the position would likely pay more than $73,000, county Administrator Cathy Mulhall said during a county meeting Monday.

It will also be a three-year contracted position with the possibility of renewal depending on performance, Overbay said.

According to the draft description of the position, the employee would face some of the following duties and responsibilities:

  • Develop economic initiatives
  • Act as a county representative on boards and committees
  • Aid with tracking legislation
  • Identify grant funding opportunities and apply for grants

Additional business sales tax revenue would allow the county to provide services without increasing resident taxes, Overbay said.

The county has lost business revenue from the annexation of Olds Station by the city of Wenatchee, which cost the county about $1.5 million in taxes a year, he said. Another hit was the closure of the Alcoa plant near Malaga, which led to a $600 million economic regional loss since 2015, he said.

Environment, county and health reporter

Tony Buhr has been a professional reporter for almost seven years. He worked for the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin as a cops and courts reporter. The Ellensburg Daily Records as a cops and courts, breaking news, agriculture and water reporter.