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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Saturday, April 20th is the physical deadline for those impacted by the Grey and Oregon wildfires to fill out U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan paperwork to ensure they qualify for all Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) benefits.

Those registered with FEMA who have questions or have received correspondence that appear to be denial letters, or need help to start or finish an SBA loan application, are encouraged to visit one of the two in-person disaster outreach centers available for survivors of the Gray and Oregon Road Fires in both the Elk Chattaroy and Medical Lake communities. The locations and hours are below.

Elk Chattaroy Disaster Outreach Center
Country Church of the Open Bible
40015 North Collins Road
Elk, WA 99009

Medical Lake Disaster Outreach Center
Medical Lake City Hall
124 South Lefevre Street
Medical Lake, WA 99022

Hours of operations for both centers:
Tuesdays and Fridays: 8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Wednesdays and Thursdays: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Saturdays: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday and Monday: closed

The application process with both FEMA and SBA is now open.

  • The fastest way to start the process is to register with FEMA by visiting www.DisasterAssistance.gov
  • The fastest way to enroll with SBA is by doing one of three things: visiting SBA’s disaster site: sba.gov/disaster; emailing SBA at disastercustomerservice@sba.gov or calling SBA customer service at (800) 659-2955
  • Or visit the In-person locations detailed above.

SBA disaster loans are available to:

  • Homeowners for up to $500,000 to replace or repair their primary residence.
  • Renters and homeowners up to $100,000 to replace or repair personal property.
  • Businesses and nonprofits organizations up to $2 million to cover disaster losses not fully covered by insurance.

SBA offers low fixed interest rates with terms up to 30 years to help in recovery. There is no cost to apply and no obligation to accept the loan if approved.

The August 2023 Wildfire disaster loan rates are:

  • As low as 2.5% for Homeowners
  • As low as 4% for Businesses
  • As low as 2.375% for Nonprofit organizations

To begin the application process, survivors can do one of the following (If you choose not to visit the in-person Spokane County locations):

For people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have a speech disability, please dial 7-1-1 to access telecommunications relay services.

  • Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

There is no cost or obligation to apply, and eligibility is based on a case-by-case review for each applicant.

There is no interest for the first year and no repayment requirements for the first 12 months.

SBA disaster loans have no closing costs and no prepayment penalties and terms up to 30 years.

Inland Grange tour in Elk

I had the opportunity to tour the Inland Grange in Elk, which was used during the Oregon Road fire by the fire fighters. The fire damage was directly across the road, just a few feet away from destroying this historic building.

It has a rich history of community service as part of America’s oldest farm-based fraternal organization. During the tour, Pam showed me the outdated heating system that they had applied for a grant to replace. We spoke about the grant process and staff sent me information about the grant process. We will continue to work together to see this need met in the upcoming 2025 session.

Central Valley and West Valley Tours

I am focused on improving our educational outcomes and the delivery of resources to our local school districts. As a member of the House Capital Budget Committee, I worked hard to steer dollars from Olympia back to our region to help pay for our educational infrastructure. 

I met with students, teachers, administrators and staff in the West Valley School District as well as the Central Valley School District this week. One of the West Valley Schools I toured was City School. It is an innovative program that runs like a small town with a mayor, student leadership roles and jobs that the students compete and interview for.  The lower level is like a small city with a café, court, bank, and media room. I was very impressed with the student engagement and the tough questions they asked me during an assembly that I was able to speak at. 

I was equally impressed with the student achievement in the Central Valley schools. While COVID set student learning back, everyone I met was excited to step up, work hard and see the students improve their learning skills. I want to thank the superintendents who put these tours together and their willingness to answer questions about bills during session.

(Note: I toured East Valley schools a few months ago)

Citizen initiatives update

The three citizen-backed initiatives passed by the Legislature will become law on June 6th:

Unlike normal bills, initiatives bypass the governor and become law 90 days after adjournment.

The three initiatives that Democrats did not allow to move forward will appear on the ballot in November:

  • Initiative 2124 would allow people to opt out of the new state-run, long-term-care program;
  • Initiative 2117 would repeal the Climate Commitment Act, the state’s new carbon tax program; and
  • Initiative 2109 would repeal the state’s new capital gains tax.  

Thank you

I work for you all year round. Please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or comments. I work for you and everyone in the 4th Legislative District.

It is an honor to serve you.


Leonard Christian

State Representative Leonard Christian, 4th Legislative District
122C Legislative Building | P.O. Box 40600 | Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7984 | Toll-free: (800) 562-6000