Is Boeing up to something in Grant County?

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File photo Jeffrey Bishop, executive director of the Port of Moses Lake, said Tuesday that Boeing officials are paying ‘a lot of attention’ to the company’s Moses Lake facility.

MOSES LAKE — Something is happening at the Boeing facility at the Grant County International Airport.

But if anyone knows what it is, they aren’t talking.

“There are lots of comings and goings at the Port of Moses Lake facility,” said Jeffrey Bishop, executive director of the Port of Moses Lake, during a regular meeting of the port commission on Tuesday.

Bishop said that recently, several senior Boeing officials, including a long-term planner, visited the hangar Boeing owns at the Port of Moses Lake and where, up until recently, the company has stored parts and machine tools, some allegedly related to its defense activities.

“A lot of attention is being paid to that facility,” Bishop said.

Bishop said that the Everett-based aerospace manufacturer has cleared out its Moses Lake hangar and is “looking at what to do with the facility.”

The Port of Moses Lake has been considering submitting a proposal to host the production facility for Boeing’s planned replacement for the 757, the New Midsize Airplane (NMA), an unnamed plane sometimes informally referred to as the 797.

In a Friday, Nov. 8 segment of “Inside Olympia,” a newsmaker interview show hosted by public broadcaster TVW, Larry Brown, the legislative director for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Union Local 751, said he believes Moses Lake would be a good location for a large aircraft production facility.

“We think it makes some real sense to do that,” Brown told host Austin Jenkins.

In fact, Brown said when Boeing was looking for a second production center for the 787 Dreamliner, his union pushed hard to build that in Moses Lake.

Brown also believes it is very likely that sometime in the next decade, a major new aircraft production center will be built “in a place like Moses Lake.”

“There’s great potential for that,” he said.

Boeing is the fifth-largest taxpayer in Grant County, paying roughly $1.6 million in property taxes on an assessed value of $142.9 million in real estate and business property in 2017.

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