Avista announces a $7 million investment in communities

Source: Amy Edelen, The Spokesman-Review, April 2

Avista is donating $7 million to area communities to prevent homelessness, promote youth education and support small communities in its service area.

Avista announced the investment last week as part of the company’s 130th birthday commemoration. The utility selected three initiatives – which it categorized as homelessness, small-town pride and youth success – after discussions with community organizations.

“We wanted to pick categories we felt were important,” Scott Morris, Avista CEO, said Monday. “We knew homelessness is a tremendous issue not only in Spokane, but throughout our service territory. Smaller communities have projects they want to get done, so we knew we could make an impact there.”

Community organizations are able to apply for funding through the Avista Foundation’s grant program.

“We plan on using that established process and will encourage partners to work with the (Avista) Foundation, and from that we will look at opportunities on how we can best spend the money in those three categories,” Morris said.

The $7 million investment doesn’t come from utility rates, but from shareholders through Avista’s philanthropy programs. The utility will also continue to donate $2.5 million annually to communities in its five-state service area.

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