The Cowlitz County Commissioners made the 2014 Rural Economic Development allocations yesterday, awarding a total of nine grants with a value of $635,000. Along with those allocations, the Commissioners are “setting aside” near $1 million, money that will eventually be used as a local match for the next big project on the Columbia River waterfront. Allocations made yesterday include $170,000 to Castle Rock, for construction of a Visitors Center at the I-5/SR 504 Park and Ride lot. The Cowlitz PUD is receiving $100,000, which will be used to upgrade broadband internet service along the SR 504 power line recently acquired from the Forest Service. The Port of Longview is actually returning $300,000 that they received in 2011, since they didn’t build the bulk storage facility that had been proposed. Kelso is getting $120,000 for streetscape improvements along West Main, while Longview is getting $120,000 for Theatre District streetscape improvements. Other awards include $60,000 to Woodland for a Ranney Well generator, $30,000 for staff support at the CEDC, $19,000 for parking lot improvements at the Kelso-Longview Chamber Visitors Center, $8,000 for a Port of Woodland economic development student, and $8,000 for a Council of Governments study on a “targeted supply chain and investment attraction.” The dollars for these grants come from a state-collected sales tax, and can only be used for job-creating infrastructure and EDC support.