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Five Star Enterprise Community

Lead Entity: Tri-County Economic Development District


State: Washington
Counties (Census Tracts): Pend Oreille (9703), Stevens (9510), Okanogan (9702) Ferry (9801,9803)
Population: 14,727
Poverty Rate: 28%
Net Area: 983 square miles


Community Overview

The Tri-county area includes the Spokane Reservation, located in Stevens County and the Colville Indian Reservation, one of the largest reservations in the state of Washington. Okanogan and Ferry counties bisect the reservation near its center. Historically, this region has been a resource-based economy (logging, wood products and agricultural fields). Jobs and revenues from these long-time economic pillars have diminished without being replaced by other industries. Diversification of the economy to move out of the "boom-bust" cycles of resource-based industries is a key component of the strategic plan. Today, these communities have gone beyond their boundaries to engage in economic partnerships that will invigorate the Tri-County region.

Strategic Plan Highlights

With the implementation of the strategic plan, the community strives to balance economic and community development.


The strategic planning process resulted in new partnerships between tribal and non-tribal governments, a first for the area. This Enterprise Community is comprised of four separate entities: Ferry County, Colville and Spokane Tribes, and the City of Newport.


For each benchmark, the Tri-County Rural Empowerment Zone has identified a range of organizations at the state and local level where it intends to seek technical assistance and potential funding. For example, the Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) has committed $200,000 toward a work first housing program, and has committed funds for other projects as well. Key Bank has committed to match the community’s revolving loan funds and provide volunteer staffing and office space. The Bureau of Indian Affairs has committed $300,000 for sewer system improvements.

Community Involvement

Outreach to the residents in the designated areas consisted of press releases, articles in local newspapers and a series of public meetings held in each of participating jurisdictions. Meeting summaries and attendance lists were shared among the entire applicant area. A Technical Advisory Committee consisting of 64 people, an 18 member Housing Committee, and two rural land use committees with 58 members were among the participants in the planning process.


Karen Van Soest
Program Coordinator


Tri-County Economic Development District (TEDD)


347 West Second, Suite A


Colville, WA 99114


(509) 684-4571 x102


(509) 684-4788



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