With the initiative now in its eighth year, Thurston County’s small cities are set to benefit again financially from the Port of Olympia’s aptly named Small Cities program.

First spearheaded by current Port Commissioner Bill McGregor in 2010, the program’s intent is to assist with projects that will assist small communities — defined as incorporated cities with a population of 10,000 or less — with local economic development. The program requires an equal cash contribution from the city, with the Port awarding funds after the cities have completed their projects and submitted the required information.

This year, the Port Commission approved funding matches for work in Bucoda, Rainier, Tenino and Yelm, at $10,000 each at the April 24 Commission meeting.

Bucoda will continue the renovation of the historic Oddfellows Building into a community center that serves both residents and visitors. Included will be the purchase and installation of two ductless heat pumps.

Rainier plans to help fund the Tipsoo Loop Resurfacing project.

Tenino will use the funds to remove the existing security fence at the Tenino Quarry Pool. Relocation of the fence will create additional space within the security zone to allow for additional sunbathing, picnicking, and greater freedom of movement for lifeguards. The fence itself will be replaced by a higher-quality, longer lasting, more aesthetically pleasing vinyl wrapped chain link.

Yelm plans to acquire electric vehicle charging stations; acquire and install a bike share kiosk and acquire professional services for a logo upgrade.