The City Council of Tieton established the Tieton Economic Development Committee (TEDC) in the spring of 2009, by appointing a small group of interested citizens, who could meet once a month to facilitate short and long term community planning in partnership with the Planning Commission and the City Council.
Since that time, the TEDC has been open to listen to concerns and visions of any of its citizens. In October and December of the first year, there were large Town Hall meetings held to prioritize the following: assets of the community (what do you like about Tieton?), weaknesses (what would you like to improve?), and vision (what would you like to see in the future?).
From those informative meetings and from the continued meetings of the TEDC, the following assessments were made: Tieton is a safe, family oriented, quiet and beautiful place to live. Its weaknesses are the lack of many businesses, its location as being the end of the road, and the fact that so many buildings are not tenant ready. Its citizens wanted a health clinic, a gym, more retail spaces and housing. They wanted their city to look better and have more community involvement.
From those first meetings, the list formed by the TEDC was:
1. Tieton City Square: emphasis on cleanup and identifying projects.
2. Paint scheme for the city, working with business owners.
3. Signs leading the City Square.
4. Research for a small health clinic.
5. Work with the City on a website.
6. Several grant proposals in the works. (Farmers Market)
7. Proposal for a soccer field.
8. Broadband for bigger internet service.
9. Work with New Visions to develop a business plan.
10.A package to market Tieton as a film location.
To date the TEDC has partnered with several grant writers, businesses, Yakima New Visions, Paul Johnson of USDA, ESD103, the City Council, our esteemed Mayor and the citizens of this community to make almost all of these things happen. We came very close to getting a computer lab and broadband, but at the very end of the process, we lost it. We have had two years of a small Farmers Market during the summer in the City Square. The buildings are all painted. Tieton is the home of the Highland Food Bank, a non-profit that was formed to serve families in the area each Saturday morning. Tieton Arts and Humanities is a non-profit that attracts visitors to art events in the City of Tieton.
The Tieton Youth Soccer Field is located within the City on a a safe ample lot, and is protected by the maintenance of the City Hall. Community Health of Central Washington is bringing the Highland Community Clinic to the City with a new building this year. There is a 26 acre park in the planning for walking trails, a mountain bike skills course and an educational garden for future farmers.
The Tieton Economic Development Committee functions in cooperation with its community. Every TEDC meeting is conducted with new faces appearing and contributing. Each project brings new workers. The publicity that Mighty Tieton brings to the community inspires more of everyone, and each citizen has stepped up to make Tieton a better place. With more gardens and more emphasis on cleaning each lot, Tieton is looking healthier. Highland Community Days in August continues to be stronger and more inclusive. The economic news may not be good, but Tieton forges on to make things happen for it families.
The Tieton Economic Development meetings are open to everyone. They take place on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6:30 pm at Harvest Hall, 915 Wisconsin Ave., Tieton, WA 98947. We thank Mighty Tieton for the use of this beautiful event space.
For more information, contact:
Kerry Quint, (509) 730-6387
Chair of TEDC and President of Friends In Tieton,
a non-profit whose projects encourage the health
and fitness of the children of Tieton.