State of local business economy is improving

Contract extensions, blown deadlines all add up to an infuriating track record

In about two weeks, community leaders and citizens from around Clark County will gather at Washougal High School as Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt delivers this year’s “State of the County” address.

It is likely that Boldt’s speech will touch on a variety of topics — the struggles the county faces in recent tough economic times, as well as some of the successes that have been realized.

In our little corner of Clark County, while there have no doubt been financial struggles, there are good things happening that make the future appear to be a little brighter.

In today’s Post-Record, several projects are profiled that point toward an improved outlook.

Camas-based CID Bio-Science is preparing to embark on a $1 million renovation of an historic building that has been vacant for a number of years. President Leonard Felix has plans to move operations to the new facility by the end of the year, and hopes to eventually expand his business at that site.

Thanks to Camas voters who in 2007 approved a bond, work has begun on building the city’s sixth elementary school that will be located within a residential development, The Hills at Round Lake, that could someday be the site of 400 homes. The $17.8 million Woodburn Elementary School will open to students in the fall of 2013.

In Washougal, a crystal sapphire manufacturer is embarking on a pilot project that could eventually be expanded. Sapphire Materials Company is now adding equipment to its operations, which are based out of a building at the Port of Camas-Washougal Industrial Park that was purchased by another company in 2010.

Maybe the most notable is Fisher investments, which recently moved 400 of its employees into a $30 million Clark County building — one of four planned structures on a 120-acre site in Camas.

Held together, these projects make a statement. Business owners and developers are feeling confident enough in the future of the local and global economies that they are investing — a very good sign for the state of Camas and Washougal…and Clark County.

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