franklin pud

Franklin PUD

Although Franklin PUD was organized January 14, 1935 it was not energized until November 7, 1947. Franklin PUD is owned and governed by the people and communities they serve. They are united behind one goal – to provide affordable, reliable, non-profit electricity to their customers. They offer electric service and broadband to their customers. There are 3 elected commissioners - Roger Wright serves as commissioner in District 1, Bill Gordon is commissioner of District 2 and Stuart Nelson is commissioner of District 3. Commissioners serve a 5 year term before they are up for re-election.

Franklin PUD centers around 6 key values: Customer Focus, Respect, Integrity, Personal Responsibility, Teamwork and Forward Focus. Through these values they hope to provide the communities with the best possible service. They will grow and expand as the communities that they serve do, making sure to reach all customers with high satisfaction. Connell and Kahlotus, as well as other surrounding areas, sit within the service boundaries of Franklin PUD.

They currently employ about 100 full time employees. Franklin PUD and its employees continue a long tradition of community involvement – dating all the way back to 1948. Anything from helping put up holiday lights around towns to educating area children and their families about electrical safety. They have a culture of trying to help whenever called upon by those they serve.

Franklin PUD has been a member of the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce for several years. They have continually supported events that the Chamber sponsors as well as supported other community groups and efforts within the community. Most recently, they have worked to provide electrical services to the new information board project being planned at the post office.

Franklin PUD is located at 1411 W Clark St Pasco WA. You can reach their office Monday through Friday from 8:30am to 5:00pm at 509-547-5591. Visit their website to access your account and for additional information on services, programs, safety tips and education and more.And a great reminder as we get into outdoor fall projects – remember to CALL 811 BEFORE YOU DIG!

chamber header logo

Connell Sand & Gravel

Connell Sand & Gravel has been owned by Buzzy & Toni Hille for 28 years. They bought the business from previous owner Ray Carlisle in 1990. When the business was brought up in conversation to buy it, they saw an opportunity and thought it would be a fun and interesting business to venture into and grow. Hilles already had a strong spray business they were operating from their home that they were building outside of Kahlotus at the time. They sprayed in Franklin, Adams and Whitman counties at the time. To date, Buzzy & Toni Hille are the 3rd owners to run and operate Connell Sand & Gravel.

Connell Sand & Gravel offers not only gravel but ready mix concrete, sand/gravel mix, and general construction services. They are a supplier for other businesses that need their products, as well. They have 28 full time employees; many are local to the area. In 2000, they expanded into the Tri-Cities market, offering more products and additional services to grow their business.
Currently, Connell Sand & Gravel is a successful and steady business but if Connell was to grow then they would expand the business further but as it is now, both owners are happy with how the company is doing.

Over the years, Buzzy and Toni have been involved in community events and committees whether in service or offering financial support. They both were EMT’s for Kahlotus for 20 years. Connell Sand & Gravel has been a huge supporter and contributor to the North Franklin School District, the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show, just to name a few. They have enjoyed living here and raising their family in the Columbia Basin community and like being able to support the community by giving back.

Both Buzzy and Toni graduated from Washtucna. Toni attended school in Connell before her family moved to Washtucna. They have 4 kids who all attended and graduated from the Kahlotus School District.

Connell Sand & Gravel is open Monday through Fridays from 7am – 5pm. To find out more about their products and services, call the main office located in Pasco at 509-545-4066.

nutrien ag solutions

Nutrien Ag Solutions

Nutrien Ag Solutions is a unit of Nutrien Ltd. Along with Nutrien Retail, they are the world’s largest agriculture inputs company. Nutrien is comprised of four business units: Nitrogen, Phosphate, Potash and Retail. They offer many products and services to our area local farmers; fertilizers, pesticides, application agronomic advice, soil & tissue sampling as well as organic products.

Nutrien Ag Solutions was established in 2018, but predecessor companies began operating as early as 1859. Through advancements in technology it has allowed for more effective growing methods while minimizing environmental impacts. They’ve welcomed more operations into the family and expanded their products and services. The company is global and now Nutrien Ag Solutions is a part of a network retailers that spans three continents. They have never lost sight of the American farmers and the work they do, decade after decade they have continued to provide the best technologies, tools, and products so that farmers can do what they do best – grow.

Nutrien Ag Solutions has gone through many name changes and merges over the years. In 1992, the company was called PureGro, transitioned to Western Farm Service,and then lastly known as Crop Production Services. Robert Oliver is the current manager of the Connell division. Bill Erickson, a Crop Consultant,who has been with the company in Connell since 1992, stated “I have been here through many acquisitions & mergers. The name may have changed but our quality of product, relationships with growers, and high customer services has always remained as the same high standard.”

When it comes to expanding the company – both locally and has a whole company, Bill states “We are always looking for good business opportunities to grow and expand – whether in products or services.” Listening to the growers and customers and what they need and are looking for helps drive and lead those decisions. We like helping farmers make their crops grow. If we do a good job, and the farmer is successful, then hopefully, they keep coming back.” Nutrien Retail continues to grow its international and North American presence. Over the past 5 years, approximately 250 independent retailers have been added to the growing family of Nutrien Ag Solutions.

Nutrien Ag Solutions has 8 full time employees and 1 part time employee at the Connell location. The office is open from 7:30am-4:30pm Monday through Friday. They often work extended hours working with farmers during the busy spring season. The office is located at 108 N Columbia Ave at the north end of town. For more information you can call the office at 234-3441 or visit their complete website at

zurcher dairy

Zurcher Dairy

Zurcher Dairy, owned by Ed & Heather Zurcher, is a local dairy farm located just north of Basin City. They have 3 daughters…Olivia, Alena, and Abby. The Zurchers came from the Enumclaw area to start their dairy farm in November of 1997, however, they still have the farm in Enumclaw to pasture their unbred heifers.
The Zurcher Dairy employs about 9 workers who work shifts to span the 20 hours a day that it takes to milk approximately 1,000 cows twice a day, to clean-up, and to feed. It takes about 10 minutes per rotation to move cows through their 36 cow parlor. An average cow produces 7-8 gallons of milk per day….or over 2,750 gallons per year. An average cow can produce for 2-10 years but a good milker could be as old as 15 years. From the body temperature of the cow, the milk is cooled to 39° within 30 seconds of leaving the cow’s udder. Zurchers have 3 tanks on the farm with a storage capacity of up to 15,000 gallons of milk, which is less than 2 days’ supply. They belong to the Northwest Dairy Association Co-op. The milk is sold under the Darigoldbrand, however, other brands use Darigold milk, including Costco.
Zurchers grow about 70% of their feed demands including corn silage and triticale (a plant cross of wheat and rye). They purchase haylage from area farmers and sometime supplement with leftovers from other industries such as cottonseed and canola meal. They utilize the manure from the dairy as fertilizer for their 450 acre farm.
Milk is Washington state’s second highest valued agriculture commodity. In the nation, Washington state ranks 10th in milk production.
Currently, Ed serves as the President of the Washington State Dairy Federation and Heather is President of both the Mid-Columbia Dairy Women and the Washington State Dairy Women. Two of their daughters, Olivia and Abby, have had the unique opportunity to serve as Dairy Ambassadors. As Dairy Ambassadors, they promote the dairy industry and the health benefits of having milk in a diet. Olivia served as the Mid-Columbia Dairy Ambassador from 2012-2013 and as an alternate for the Washington State Dairy Ambassador in 2013-2014. She attended University of Idaho where she graduated with a degree in Agriculture Education. She currently is an Ag teacher at Prosser High School. Abby served as the Mid-Columbia Dairy Ambassador in 2017-2018 and is the current Washington State Dairy Ambassador for 2018-2019. After completing her term, she will attend the University of Idaho to study Elementary Education. Alena just started her senior year at the University of Washington and will graduate with a degree in Corporate Tax Accounting in the spring of 2019.
Zurcher Dairy has been a member of the Greater Connell Area Chamber of Commerce since 2016. Their support of school and local events, however, has been generously evident since coming to the area in 1997….from elementary to high school programs and sport teams, community events, county fairs and so much more. They have always been committed to supporting our community. In closing, Heather stated, “We just like to help the kids in our community.”


Tri-State Seed

Tri-State Seed is co-owned by 50% Dana Herron and Craig Teel and 50% by Tri-City Grain. They have been in operation since May 2005. Tri-State Seed offers primarily cereal grains: wheat, oat, barley, triticale, but also has grasses, alfalfa, pasture mixes, and sorghum Sudan. They have 8 full time employees and 3 part-time/seasonal employees. Two of their new hires are local resident, Stacy Kniveton, who came on as Sales/Marketing and Lind native, Kevin Starring, who is also with Sales/Marketing. Tri-State Seed Company’s mission is to provide the customer/grower with products of exceptional value and quality along with a level of service exceeding the customer’s expectations.

In conversation about expanding Tri-State Seed, Dana Herron stated “the company is growing now – we will likely take over Ritzville in the spring of 2019 and soon Lind. This is at the peoples request and wanting us to do more, so why not, if it makes good business sense and helps our growers.” When they originally opened, the goal was to offer more products and services to growers cost effectively. “We want and need to make farmers money – that’s the bottom line and the goal. If we don’t make them money – they won’t come back” stated Herron.

Since opening, they seem to be successful at achieving their goals as evident by the anticipated expansions. They are doing well with this years’ harvest and growers are happy. In addition to the local market, they currently ship seed to 17 other states as well. In the last month alone, they shipped to Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Mexico, California, Oregon, Idaho and of course around Washington. Sales range from $10-$15 million/year, depending on the year and the demand. Tri-State is always looking for new products that will help them solve problems that the growers come across. Solving problems, working with growers and building that customer relationship is important to good business and is something that all employees strive to do well. In 2014, Tri-State Seed started selling Ag chemical to dryland farmers – the need was there so the growth and expansion was necessary to help their customers.

Over the years, Tri-State Seed has been a big supporter to our area youth that are involved in the Columbia Basin Junior Livestock Show, donating towards their animal projects. They are also Chamber members and strive to support other local businesses in and around the Connell area.

Dana grew up in Connell and graduated from Connell in 1969. He then went on to WSU to pursue degrees in Political Science and Ag Economics, after which he returned to Connell and married and raised his own family here. Craig Teel is originally from Davenport. He also attended WSU earning a degree in Agronomy. Both owners are looking forward to the upcoming year and what it entails for Tri-State Seed and its growers and customers.

The office is open Monday through Friday 8-5pm. During harvest they are likely to have extended hours for the guys outside and salesman. If you have further questions or would like information on any of their products or services, please call 234-2500 or stop by the office and visit them. The Connell office is located on the north hill as you’re leaving town, above Connell – across from the entrance to CRCC (prison) at 1000 N Columbia Ave. You can also visit their website for additional information.

harvest foods

Lep-Re-Kon Harvest Foods

Lep-Re-Kon Harvest Foods is the local grocery store in Connell. They have just about everything you might need and is just a quick stop on your way home. Owned by Joe Montemayor since 2000, the hometown full service grocery store is one of a few in the Columbia Basin Area.

The Connell Lep-Re-Kon, managed by Juan, has 12 full time and 10 part time employees. Montemayor has made improvements over the years and continues to look for areas to improve and expand the store, whether its products/services or the store facilities themselves. He hopes to expand the Connell store again in the near future. Montemayor likes being able to offer the community a place to shop locally for all their grocery needs and serve fresh produce, a full-service deli, bakery and meat counter. Having good food for the community to enjoy and take home to their families is something that is important to Montemayor and all the employees. If you are looking for baked goods, the deli/bakery offers special orders for baked goods and pastries. You can also get lotto tickets, scratch tickets, access the ATM and purchase liquor at the store too.

Lep-Re-Kon puts out a weekly sales ad or specials insert in the local Graphic, highlighting the weekly deals, sales and specials that are happening at all the Lep-Re-Kon locations. While checking out with the cashier, if you need assistance to your vehicle and loading groceries they also offer carry out service – so just ask!

Lep-Re-Kon Harvest Foods is open 7 days a week from 6am to 10pm. The store is located at 620 S Columbia Ave. Their phone number is 234-2491. You can also visit their website harvest for additional information.

steele computer

Steel Computer Sales & Services

Tim Steele and son, Tyson Steele, are the owners of Steele Computer Sales & Services in Connell. They have been in business since September of 2003. The Grand Opening was on the Saturday of Connell Fall Festival in 2003 – a kickoff of events and a great start to a new local business in town. Tim started the business because computers were a hobby of his that eventually he was invested enough to open up a shop to service other computers and help the community.

Steele Computers sells and repairs all makes and models of both new and refurbished desktop computers, laptops, Mac’s, and more. They are a one stop shop – able to handle everything from virus removal to computer backups, data recovery, forgotten passwords, hardware/screen/battery replacement, setting up new printers, and even making a slow computer fast again. They also sell and repair cell phones and tablets and replace screens on them as well. You can get prepaid cell phone plans through many different carriers there too. They are busy with what they have now but if opportunities come up they may expand and offer more products and services in the future.

Tim also owns the liquor store next door (in the same building) and at times finds it challenging keeping both businesses open when they are both busy at the same time – a good problem to have but with only 2 people working it can be a challenge. The liquor store is open Monday through Saturdays from 10am to 8pm. Tim offers a good selection of liquor, beer, and wine. He will also do special orders for people if they are holding an event or if what they are looking for is not on the shelf. He offers a discount of 10% on 6 bottles or more of wine.

So, if you have questions on your computer, phone or other piece of technology, take it to Steele Computer’s and get it looked at and fixed. You can also call them at 234-4500 for quick questions or to check on availability and lead time. Steele Computers is located at 311 S Columbia Ave just north of the Grange Supply. They are open Monday – Friday 10:00am-5:30pm and Saturdays from 12:00pm to 5:30pm.

pizza station

Pizza Station

Pizza Station opened up in Connell on May 19, 2000 by local owners Lee & Vicki Barrow. Lee had always wished there was a pizza place in town when he was in high school and ever since then had the idea to open a place of his own. Since they opened, they have served great tasting pizza, salad, ice cream, hot wings, pop and 10 different micro brews that rotate out. Pizza Station has a great lunch buffet that runs from 11:30-2pm daily. They also have a small arcade in the back to enjoy while waiting for your pizza. Pizza Station has 1 full time and 4 part-time employees.

Prior to being Pizza Station, the location was formally a Napa Auto Parts, a floral shop, a motor cycle shop and also a 2nd hand store. Barrows wanted to offer another food option for the community and visitors to enjoy and serve amazing tasting pizza. Vicki said “this was like my youngest baby, it took us 9 months from the time we bought it to opening day and now it’s 18 years old! I come here every day and work because unlike an 18-year-old child, I still have to take care of it.”

Both Lee & Vicki are CHS graduates of 1985. When they first bought the building and were in the process of opening Pizza Station the railroad theme was not the original idea. But over the months of remodeling and preparing for opening day, the front windows had no glass and when the trains came through and blew their horn it was so loud. They quickly learned to embrace the train and the sound of the horn. Most of the memorabilia has been donated by the community of Connell and have some pieces from Mesa, too. They even have a pizza named with the train theme – “The DeRailer”- an all meat pizza topped with bacon!

Pizza Station is great supporters of community events – they are fall festival sponsors and also attend the annual Harvest Festival (formally wine & brew) in November as drink/food vendors.

Pizza Station is located at 238 N Columbia. To place an order for pickup call 509-234-0385. You can also follow their Facebook page. They are open Monday – Friday 11:30am – 8pm and serve a lunch buffet from 11:30am – 2pm. With so many pizza options, there is sure to be something for the whole family to enjoy.

city of connell

City of Connell

The City was established in 1883 as a railroad stop that was called Palouse Junction. Later it became known as Connell, named after a Northern Pacific Station Agent, Joseph Connell. The City was officially incorporated in 1910.

The City of Connell serves the community offering many services; park facilities, water, sewer, contracted sanitation, Fire Department, Police Department, building permits, community center rental/usage, and dog license. If you visit City Hall you can get many services fulfilled there and also get general information about the City of Connell as well as the community.

The City of Connell has 22 permanent employees, 13 seasonal employees and 27 firemen. Their main goal is to keep the community safe. They have rapid response by well trained first responders and keep well maintained infrastructure. They are proactive in the maintenance of water, sewer and street systems. It is also understood that it is important to be financially stable, so that they can protect and enhance the City’s financial health and stability while maintaining appropriate and essential public services in a cost-effective manner.

The Police Department offers bicycle registrations – this helps in returning lost or stolen bikes that have been recovered. They also offer House Checks for residents when they are on vacation or out of town.

A bit of history….the first City Council meeting was held on December 13th, 1910 where W.H. Miller was appointed as the 1st mayor of the Town of Connell. Our current mayor is Lee Barrow and the Council members are John White, Pat Barrera, Joe Escalera, Kathy Silva, and Mayor Pro Tem Ray Minor. Council members serve a 4 year term. City Council meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 6:00pm at City Hall. The public is always welcome to attend and participate in City Council meetings.

City Hall is located at 104 E Adams St in the center of Connell. They are open Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm. For service information or questions, you can call 509-234-2701 or check out the city website at

flying x

Flying X Coffee

Connell has had a small local coffee shop for the last 3 years, when Ryan Hatch decided to open up Flying X Coffee on the north end of town. Ryan has a passion for specialty coffee and wanted to share that with others in the community. Seeing that there wasn’t a coffee shop in town at the time, he found the building formerly known as “Odoms” and did the upgrades to set it up as a coffee shop. Flying X is the Hatch family cattle brand and Ryan expanded that “brand” to be the name of his coffee business.

In 2015, when the shop opened, Ryan was also farming in Ephrata as well as getting Flying X Coffee up and running. After a flash flood hit the farm and Hatch was unable to get to the farm before he could stop the damage, since he was in Connell at the coffee shop, he decided to pursue his business with coffee full time and his brother would take over the farm. Little changes and improvements went into the shop as all the profits were put back into the shop to expand and grow. Wanting to grow the business and the coffee brand, Ryan started looking for new opportunities in the Tri-City area.

In 2017, Ryan got his first chance to expand when he bought a drive-thru coffee stand at the intersection of Rd 68 and Argent in Pasco. This was just the beginning of expanding the Flying X Coffee brand as then in the spring of 2018 Ryan leased a space in West Richland at 4001 Kennedy Ave and made another sit-in Flying X Coffee shop. This new location includes a drive-thru as well.

Ryan has opened 3 shops in 4 years and although he would love to grow and expand more, he is waiting for the time being until he can absorb the growth. Ryan is proud to serve world class coffee. They use one of the top-rated roasters in the US and brew it on one of the best espresso machines ever made.

All 3 shops employ a total of 10 people, with the Connell shop employing 3. In Connell, you will find Jessica, Mindee, or Annette smiling and happy to serve you a hot or cold coffee drink, as well as smoothies, frappes, Italian soda’s, Red Bull drinks and pastries. The Connell Flying X Coffee shop is located at 257 N. Columbia Ave; open Monday through Friday 7am-5pm and Saturdays 8am – 12pm with abbreviated hours in the summer months. Follow Flying X Coffee on Facebook to see special events happening or what’s new at any of their locations.

Ryan and his wife, Carrie, who works for NFSD, enjoy living in the Connell and being in this community. The couple is growing their family in addition to business as they are expecting twins this fall. Ryan and Carrie are also devoted WSU Cougar fans.