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About: Claudia Johnson

Recent Posts by Claudia Johnson

Discover! What is a Comprehensive Plan and Scheme of Harbor Improvements, and how does the Port make business decisions?

Ports in Washington state are required to develop comprehensive plans to guide investments and establish policies for activities. The Port of Kalama Commission is governed by policy set forth in the Comprehensive Plan and Scheme of Harbor Improvements as it is officially named—which is required by law. The Commission—as part of planning—helps to create a balanced and diverse industry base to provide living wage jobs and a range of community recreational amenities.

A comprehensive planning process helps to determine community goals and aspirations in terms of community development. The Scheme identifies opportunities for future investment, operation and development that will benefit the community. The comprehensive planning process can be condensed into a three step “how to” process that describes the port’s assets, what is going to be done with them, and how:

  1. An inventory of assets including lands and facilities.
  2. Proposed use of assets
  3. The implementation plan

 

The Port of Kalama holds extensive internal discussions and public meetings annually to clarify and update its vision. The Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements is the embodiment of the Port and community vision for achieving the Port’s mission. The Port’s annual strategic planning process outlines goals and objectives to ensure that the Port meets its commitment to excellence contained in the Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements. Citizens are welcome to both comment during the planning phase of this framework and are welcome to review it anytime: Comprehensive Scheme And Plan of Harbor Improvement.

The Port of Kalama is a key source of family wage jobs in Kalama and Cowlitz County. The Port offers employers an array of properties, from developable land to industrial buildings and Columbia River dockage. Transportation is a key to the Port’s properties, with excellent access to rail, highway and water.

The Port of Kalama’s comprehensive planning process identified several key projects as beneficial to the entire Kalama community: major investment planned in the Spencer Creek Business Park, North Port large industrial development known as the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility, as well as public recreation and tourist attractions. The Port also envisions continued growth in the Kalama River Industrial Park’s cadre of flexible industrial properties. As the Port continues to attract tenants to existing properties, it will seek mission-suited opportunities to enhance its holdings and acquire property as fiscally responsible.

Next up: Discover! What projects now underway are a part of the Port’s Comprehensive Planning Process?

 

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Discover! Port of Kalama Commissioners—roles, responsibilities, districts

Port of Kalama Commissioners are elected to six-year terms as defined by law. Many of the Port’s projects and developments are the results of long-term planning and decades long vision.

The elected Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners sets Port policy and follows the guidelines of the Port’s Comprehensive Plan and Scheme of Harbor Improvements, a legal document that provides a framework to guide day-to-day decisions and helps the Port achieve its mission. The Commission helps to create a balanced and diverse industry base to provide living wage jobs and a range of community recreational amenities.

Are there laws governing the Port and Commissioners?

The Port of Kalama and the elected commissioners must work within the framework of the laws and permitting policies of the State of Washington and federal government. The Port must comply with the laws of the city, county, state and federal government, and abide by the laws of the jurisdiction in which  any development is proposed. The Port is subject to environmental regulations and permitting guidelines like any other jurisdiction or government entity.

How can citizens reach their commissioners?

Citizens interested in communicating with their Port of Kalama Commissioner can call the Port offices at 360-673-2325; send letters to their Commissioner at the Port office, 110 West Marine Drive, Kalama, Washington 98625; or email Commission@PortofKalama.com.

What are the Port Commissioner boundaries?

Each commissioner  resides in one of three districts within the Port of Kalama Special Purpose District. The districts are created based on equal representation of population.

Next up: Discover! What is a Comprehensive Plan and Scheme of Harbor Improvements? And how does the Port make business decisions?

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Scoping period opens for Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement at Port of Kalama

The public is invited to comment in writing on the scope of the draft statement between January 30, 2018 and March 1, 2018.

Port of Kalama today announced that the scoping period for the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (DSEIS) is now open to public comment between January 30, 2018 and March 1, 2018.

Northwest Innovation Works, LLC is proposing to develop and operate a natural gas-to-methanol production plant and storage facility at the Port of Kalama. A Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the project is being prepared to provide additional analysis and consideration of mitigation for emissions of greenhouse gases from the project.

The public is invited to comment on the scope of the DSEIS which will supplement the final EIS published in September 2016. Public comment must be done in writing and sent via email to SEIS@KalamaMfgFacilitySEPA.com or mailed to:

Ann Farr, Port of Kalama, 110 W. Marine Drive, Kalama, WA 98625

Additional information on the project and a description of the proposed scope of the DSEIS can be found at www.KalamaMfgFacilitySEPA.com. Public comments can be made there as well.

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Port of Kalama commences construction on Kalama Marina Renovation project, encourages public to sign up for notices

Construction activities on the Marina Renovation Project at the Port of Kalama are scheduled for February 2018 through July 2018. The Port wants the public to be aware that in the coming weeks construction activities to replace certain key features at the marina will commence:

  • Boat launch and fuel docks and floats along with the fuel system
  • Marginal floats and docks in the moorage area and guest dock
  • Power pedestals and waler boards for each slip
  • Roof structure where needed
  • Gangways and wood piling

 

The boat launch and fuel dock along with the fueling system are expected to be closed from approximately mid-April until the end of May, 2018.  Alternative marine fuel locations along the Columbia River are available in St. Helens and Cathlamet.

The Port strongly encourages the public to sign up for email project updates here, and follow the Port on Facebook, where there will be consistent updates and information for marina users. Marina patrons can also sign up for email notices and updates by filling out the form here.

Questions can also be directed to the Port administrative office 360-673-2325 at any time.  The project is expected to be completed by the end of July.

“We understand what an interruption means to our valued patrons and visitors and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we embark on the biggest marina renovation project since it was originally built,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “While there will be short-term construction, we believe the end product will restore the marina so it can be enjoyed for decades to come.”

About Port of Kalama – Where rail and water meet:
The Port of Kalama is located in Southwest Washington on the Columbia River and immediately off of Interstate Highway 5. The port exists to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities. Port of Kalama’s industrial area includes five miles of riverfront property adjacent to the 43′ federally-maintained deep draft navigation channel of the Columbia River. The Port is served by the Burlington Northern/Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroads. There are over 30 businesses located at the Port of Kalama, employing over 1,000 people. Port of Kalama offers all the superior facilities businesses need to thrive, and an unsurpassed quality of life. The port offers shovel ready sites, a new Industrial Park, state of the art Marine Terminals and transportation accessibility to rail and highway all just a 30-minute drive to the Portland International Airport. Port of Kalama also offers high-bandwidth communications, with dual access fiber-optic service to Seattle and Portland. Properties currently available at the port for businesses wishing to expand and thrive: Visit http://portofkalama.com/available-properties/.

Contact: Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama, 360-673-2379 or Claudia Johnson, PR, 503-799-2220.

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Discover! What is the Port of Kalama? What is our mission?

Thank you for joining us on our journey of discovery. There will be opportunities for us to gather at events and get to know each other—but for now, we’ll go first!

What is the Port of Kalama?

The Port of Kalama is a local government agency considered a Special Purpose District in the State of Washington, which has the largest system of public ports in the world. In Washington, Special Purpose Districts are limited purpose local governments separate from a city, town, or county government. The Port was organized by a vote of the people of Kalama, Washington in 1920. The elected Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners meets twice a month to discuss Port business and set policy based on a legal community directive called a Comprehensive Planning Process. The Port welcomes the public to Commission meetings which are held in the Port of Kalama Administrative Office Building, 110 West Marine Drive, Kalama, Washington 98625.

What is the Port’s mission?

The Port of Kalama’s mission is ‘to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities.’  The Commission ensures a sound economic development strategy for the Port to create a balanced and diverse industry base, provide living wage jobs and a range of community recreational amenities. The Kalama River Industrial Park—now  home to many business tenants—and recent construction of Haydu Park and maintenance of the Kalama marina and riverfront parks are examples of the commission’s stewardship.

At the core of our mission is a promise to carefully evaluate community investments all while protecting and enhancing our natural resources. That careful balance is in the DNA of every single project the Port embarks upon.

What are Port of Kalama boundaries?

The Port of Kalama lies between the Port of Woodland to the south and the Port of Longview to the north within Cowlitz County. Some of the Port lies within the City of Kalama and some is within the jurisdiction of Cowlitz County. The Port of Kalama has five distinct areas, including:

  • North Port Heavy Industrial Area
  • East Port –Spencer Creek Business Park and Haydu Park
  • Kalama River Industrial Park
  • Central Port Primarily Recreational Area
  • South Port Industrial Area

Next up:

Discover! Port of Kalama Commissioners—roles, responsibilities, districts

 

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Port of Kalama seeks innovative partner to develop first phase of Spencer Creek Business Park

The Port of Kalama has issued a Request for Interest (RFI) seeking a partner in the development of the five-acre commercial parcel located at the entry to the proposed Spencer Creek Business Park. The high-visibility site is a critical first phase of the long-planned Spencer Creek Business Park and is expected to be a major focus of ongoing economic development efforts.

The Port seeks an innovative partner to create a desirable destination off of I-5 at the entry to the Spencer Creek Business Park. The first phase of commercial development is now being planned as the gateway for the rest of the mixed-use property. More than 30 companies, employing more than 1,000 people, already call the Port of Kalama home, and the Port’s Industrial Parks employ more than 400 people just ¾ – mile from the proposed site at the Park.

“The Port of Kalama seeks a partner that brings vision and expertise to the development of this important new mixed use commercial site—we’ve already made a significant investment in site preparation and infrastructure to support future development, and the Port offers the financial capability and commitment to provide the necessary ongoing support to assure a successful outcome for the development,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “The Port is committed to reducing barriers to development and providing clarity and certainty throughout the development process for projects that support the Port’s economic and community development objectives.”

The 70-acre Spencer Creek Business Park will support a mix of light industrial, office, commercial and retail uses including:

  • Light industrial
  • Commercial/retail
  • Hotel
  • Convenience store
  • Dining

The Port successfully petitioned to annex its East Port properties including Haydu sports park and Spencer Creek Business Park, into the City of Kalama in 2014.  As a result, local city revenues should benefit from upcoming business and leasehold activity. The Port will finance public improvements including new sidewalks, road upgrades and habitat enhancements.

Preliminary work at Spencer Creek Business Park will go out to bid early 2018 and includes filling and grading, installation of storm water treatment systems, and road improvements to make way for new commercial development. While East Port will be built out over many years, business park construction and operational activities are projected to support more than 1,000 jobs and millions of dollars in new local economic activity.

“We fully expect the development of Spencer Creek Business Park to attract new commercial businesses to the region and provide more family wage jobs here,” said Wilson.  “Not only are we expanding recreational and employment opportunities, we’re offering first-rate facilities to draw visitors and investment from throughout our region and beyond.”

A competitive, driven and innovative team, Port of Kalama staff act as ‘Boots on the Ground’ for a growing community of businesses who have relocated or grown there—committed to customer service and helping developers and businesses thrive:

  • Experienced developers
  • Capital-rich entity with funding for partnership
  • Economic and environmental award-winning team
  • Right off I-5
  • Collaborative, business-friendly

 

The Port of Kalama celebrates an extensive list of environmental and economic awards and acclaim:

  • In 2015, Port of Kalama was named the Washington State Port of the Year—a distinct honor awarded for outstanding long-term vision, innovation and community collaboration to create jobs and improve quality of life—all things the Port was created to do.
  • The City of Kalama and Port together earned the 2014 Governor’s Smart Communities Award for their collaboration on planning the multi-use Spencer Creek Business Park property which is expected to boost the region’s available commercial property, economy and job opportunities.
  • The Port consistently wins the Pathways 2020 Community Champions Award for Economic Vitality, which awards organizations that excel at creating jobs, employee wellness, training, employable skills, new or expanding business, transportation, financial security, reducing poverty, and higher wages.

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Discover! Port of Kalama

Can we talk?

We’ll bet you wonder just what the Port of Kalama exists to do—and why!

Who are we? What do we do? Why do we do it? Who makes the decisions and how?

Come along as we discover the Port of Kalama—all of the complexities, programs, contributions and responsibilities of the largest Special Purpose District in Kalama.

Let’s get to know each other.

First an overview: Just 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon, business and community development are booming at the Port of Kalama. With more than 30 companies, employing over 1,000 people, the Port of Kalama offers prime industrial land and exceptional move-in-ready industrial buildings. The Port’s sweeping riverfront industrial acreage with easy access to all modes of transportation are always attracting new and emerging businesses. And that’s all part of the plan.

But that’s not all. The Port of Kalama also celebrates an extensive list of environmental and economic awards, recreational treasures and acclaim as an approachable, friendly climate for businesses and guests. And in 2015, Port of Kalama was named Port of the Year in Washington State. It is a distinct honor awarded for outstanding long-term vision, innovation and community collaboration to create jobs and improve quality of life—all things the Port was created to do.

At the core of the Port of Kalama’s mission is a promise to carefully evaluate community investments to create jobs and enhance public recreational opportunities all while protecting and enhancing the environment and natural resources. That careful balance is in the DNA of every single project the Port embarks upon. It is the Port’s job to follow an approved Comprehensive Scheme—required by law—to ensure that the environment, economy and community assets are thoughtfully planned to work in harmony with one another.

Have questions? Call us at 360/673-2325

Next up:

Discover! What is the Port of Kalama and what is our mission?

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Port of Kalama awards contract for Kalama Marina Renovation project to Massana Construction Inc.

The Port of Kalama board of commissioners last week voted to award the contract for the Kalama Marina Renovation project to Massana Construction Inc., a heavy, civil and highway contractor with offices in Tyrone, Georgia, Gig Harbor, Washington, Dallas, Texas, and Columbus, Ohio.  The $4,266,674 marina contract—not including Washington sales tax— includes construction and management of all marina upgrades and improvements and is expected to run between December and early summer 2017.

The contract work includes all labor, material, tools, equipment, permitting and supervision for the installation of all components of the long-planned Kalama Marina Renovation project including new features like:

  • Aluminum frame floats on the main walkway, the visitors dock and at the boat launch
  • Steel pipe piles
  • Gangway ramps
  • Security fence, gate structures and controls
  • Fire suppression systems
  • Electrical services and lighting
  • Fuel dock float and fuel dispenser, pay station and management system for fully-functional dock fueling system

 

“We’ve worked closely with engineers to redesign and update the boat launch to create a state-of-the-art facility for the community and visitors—the new floats will be stronger with better flotation and the new design will allow boats tie up on both sides of the down-river float for more staging room,” says Darin Sampson, Port Maintenance Superintendent.  “It’s a complex project but we will provide consistent communications to the public on updates, closures and access during construction. We urge visitors to watch for signage and call us with any questions.”

 

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Port of Kalama files appeal of Shoreline Hearings Board order

As lead agencies of the State Environmental Policy Act, the Port and Cowlitz County have followed all greenhouse gas guidelines to the letter of the law

The Port of Kalama today filed an appeal of the Shoreline Hearings Board Order on Motions for Partial Summary Judgment regarding the proposed Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility (KMMEF). The Port filed the appeal because, as a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Lead along with Cowlitz County, the agency believes it followed all greenhouse gas (GHG) guidance and directives of the state.

“We believe the project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) fully disclosed potential GHG emissions from the project and properly concluded that those project emissions do not cause a significant adverse impact on the environment,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama.

“It appears the Board wants a Greenhouse Gas Emission impact evaluation that goes far beyond the project’s impacts.  They apparently want a study of both upstream and downstream emissions loosely or seemingly unrelated to the project—from where natural gas is sourced to where and how the methanol is used.  We see no basis for this in state law and this interpretation of existing law is unprecedented.  It raises serious questions regarding how such requirements would apply in the future not only to port projects, but also to vital public projects including highway and bridge construction,” Wilson said.

Although the Port has filed this appeal, the Port and Northwest Innovation Works – Kalama will proceed simultaneously with additional environmental review of the Greenhouse Gas Impact issue. Both applicants intend to ask the SEPA Lead Officials to prepare a supplemental EIS to further evaluate the Greenhouse Gas issue.

“We expect the review process to proceed over the course of the next several months, while this appeal is proceeding through the Courts,” says Wilson. “Because, under the law, any appeal of the Board’s decision must be filed within 30 days, the Port could not wait until completion of additional environmental review before filing this challenge to the Board’s order.”

“This proposed Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility aligns squarely with the Port’s long-term planning for the property and our mission,” said Wilson. “Our mission? It’s about a healthy community, jobs for our citizens and a vibrant economy for the entire region. The value of the jobs, community welfare and morale, and economic assets this facility will create here-all while following stringent environment guidelines-just cannot be overstated.”

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Shorelines Hearing Board Decision: Statement of Mark Wilson, Executive Director, Port of Kalama

RE: Shorelines Hearing Board Decision Related To The Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility Environmental Impact Statement  (EIS)

“Permitting is a collaborative effort with the agencies that regulate projects. A project of this size requires diligent effort and coordination.  In the case of greenhouse gases (GHG), there is no specific law or rule to determine what constitutes adequate environmental review of GHG impacts.  The EIS, which was produced jointly by the Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County, is an excellent work product.  The study required thousands of hours of work by expert consultants from many fields and closely adhered to state Department of Ecology guidance and input.

So while we are obviously disappointed in the Shoreline Hearings Board decision, we remain committed to our mission balancing environmental stewardship with the economy and jobs, and with our quality of life. The Port of Kalama remains committed to staying the course in support of the proposed Kalama Methanol Manufacturing and Export Facility project.  It is a very important project for our community.”

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