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Yearly Archives: 2019

Discover! Why is the Port of Kalama investing in the Spencer Creek Business Park?

The Spencer Creek Business Park is being built as a part of the Port of Kalama’s long-term plan to diversify the region’s business sector—which is important for ensuring a healthy economy and thriving community. The new Business Park was methodically planned to support a mix of commercial business, retail, dining, lodging and light industrial when it is complete.

In fact, it is much like the long-term build-out of the popular Kalama River Industrial Park—also a long-planned and very successful Port investment. The Port constructs infrastructure like the Industrial Park as well as bridge access, roads, sidewalks and required utilities to attract productive business partners and opportunity to the community.

The Port built-out the industrial buildings to invite companies who wanted existing infrastructure and amenities. And the good news? The Industrial Park is now home to 10 manufacturing businesses and 100s of employees.

The Industrial Park has been so successful the Port recently built another industrial building to house new tenants who are core to the emerging steel manufacturing and distribution sector here.

The Port will also build-out some of the preliminary infrastructure and amenities for the Spencer Creek Business Park, which is a long-planned mixed-use concept imagined decades ago by the Port team and commissioners. This is all part of our mission to maintain the community’s economic health with thoughtful growth.

And the Port has already invested in the Spencer Creek neighborhood with the Haydu Park recreational facility we all appreciate. The Port will soon open a brand-new playground with state-of-the-art play structures for our children to enjoy.

With the current surface road project at Spencer Creek Business Park, we’re on the way to developing the area to welcome new diverse businesses and jobs.

Watch our video to learn more about Spencer Creek Business Park!

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Discover! Who are your Port Commissioners?

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 of many Port commissioners.

The elected Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners sets Port policy following the organizational 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 and provide living wage jobs and a range of community recreational amenities.

So, who are these community leaders?

 

Alan Basso

President

Alan Basso has served as a Kalama Port Commissioner since 2012. He is a long-time Kalama resident and currently serves as a Lieutenant and Fire Investigator with the Longview Fire Department. Basso graduated from Kalama High School in 1980, earned a BA degree at Washington State University in 1986 and received an AAS in Fire Protection Technology from Portland Community College in 2010.

Alan is fourth generation Kalama citizen—his maternal grandfather, Otto Kockritz, was born here in 1890. His father built the Kockritz Hotel in 1908, which is now home to Poker Pete’s. Alan’s maternal great grandmother moved to Kalama, settling up the River in 1904 on a farm known as ‘The Red Barn.’ His paternal grandparents emigrated from Finland and settled on Green Mountain in 1919.  In 1923, Alan’s great aunt and husband arrived and purchased a nearby farm.  In 1948, his parents bought the great aunt’s home, and he, in turn, bought it to keep it all in the family.

Troy Stariha

Vice President

Troy Stariha has served as a Commissioner for the Port of Kalama since 2010.

He also is currently serving as Chair for the Executive Committee for the Cowlitz-Wahkiakum Council of Governments. A long-time Kalama resident, he graduated from Kalama High School in 1989. Troy has worked for Kalama Auto Supply and Repair for 27 years, purchasing the business in 2003.  As a small business owner within his community, he understands the area’s desires and future needs on a personal level.

His focus on economic development helps the port successfully create a balance of quality of life and family-wage jobs in the region. The Port of Kalama is an integral part of their community and Troy is proud to serve as commissioner. Troy is the father of three boys and has one grandchild. Much of his free time is spent attending his sons’ sporting events. Other hobbies include playing golf, watching NASCAR and attending community events.

Randy Sweet

Secretary

Randy Sweet has served as a Kalama Port Commissioner since 2005. An engineering geologist and hydrogeologist with degrees from LCC, Western Washington and the University of Oregon, he founded a very successful nationwide environmental consulting business.  He is also past president of the St. John Foundation and chairman of the Cowlitz County Planning Commission, and is a founding member of the Lower Columbia Fish Recovery Board. Randy and his wife Sheli have lived in the oldest house in Kalama for over 40 years!

Port Commissioners have many responsibilities to ensure optimum use of port facilities, acreage and infrastructure. The commission oversees everything from marina and industrial improvements to due diligence on industries that fit and comply with the mission of the Port and the culture of the community, as well as investment in community recreational facilities like parks, walking paths, marina and other amenities.

Thank you for your service to our community, Commissioners Basso, Stariha and Sweet! You are appreciated.

The Port Commission is here to serve the community

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.

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Discover! Why does the Port of Kalama build amenities like the new amphitheater?

As a key contributor to the Kalama community, the Port elects to provide and enhance public recreational opportunities. In fact, ensuring public recreational opportunities on Port property is explicitly stated in the Port’s mission statement.

And we take that directive seriously! The Port of Kalama has created—and is home to—miles of scenic walking paths, riverfront beaches, a recently renovated marina and acres of public parks.

Over the years, organizations, individuals and groups in our community have looked at our parks as ideal venues to gather, celebrate and host recreational activities. With an increased demand for community events, concerts and public activities at Marine Park, last year the Port carefully considered the community benefits of creating a small public amphitheater to better accommodate those groups.

The intent was to create a more enjoyable guest experience at events like the ones we’ve been enjoying here for decades such as the Blues and Hawaiian Festivals and the Festival of Lighted Boats to name just a few.  Establishing a permanent stage and electrical power lowers the cost to event organizers since a stage and generators do not need to be rented for an event.

The Port also developed the amphitheater to support the downtown commercial district and provide an option for enjoying the park after a visit to the community’s core. We are also planning a beautiful new pedestrian overpass to support pedestrian foot traffic to and from the downtown area. It’s another amenity that will benefit all of us.

The amphitheater is nearing completion and the grassy open space we envisioned offers tiered seating for concerts and special events that already attract us to the Kalama waterfront. It’s a beautiful natural setting for events, and the area will be open to the public for picnics, gathering, and just enjoying the park.

Special heartfelt thanks go to one of our newest tenants at the Port, Bridger Steel, for their generous contribution of the beautiful metal roofing for the amphitheater. Port businesses contribute so much more to our community than just jobs and tax revenue—and their partnerships are so very welcomed. Thank you to the local team at Bridger!

Why do we contribute these amenities and features to our community? To make Kalama the most livable, prosperous place it can be. As community stewards our mission is to ensure that the environment, economy and community assets—like the amphitheater—are thoughtfully planned to work in harmony with one another.

Visit any one of our celebrated parks to enjoy:

  • Beaches and waterfront for boating and fishing
  • Facilities for soccer, baseball, tennis, basketball, pickleball, sand volleyball
  • Equestrian arena
  • Covered picnic pavilions and playgrounds
  • Walking paths
  • Expo area for events

Visit www.PortofKalama.com for more recreational opportunities and public events.

For more information on the amphitheater and other Port recreational facilities, please contact Paul Morin, Recreation Administrator, at 360-673-2325.

 

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Depin Inc. expands lease to 33,000 square feet at Port of Kalama to accommodate product demand

The innovative and eco-friendly corrugated crate manufacturer expands from 21,000 square feet, continues to hire and grow at the Port

Depin Inc., manufacturer of Ecorrcrate, the eco-friendly alternative to wooden pallets and crates, has expanded its lease at the Port of Kalama to accommodate increased product demand.. Depin, which moved its corporate headquarters from Oregon to the Port in 2015, has signed another lease for an additional 12,000 square feet of space to grow manufacturing operations and serve a growing sector of customers.

Depin, which manufactures a patented lightweight corrugated product developed to meet the growing demand for eco-friendly, easy-to-recycle and cost-effective crating, has long served companies like Toyo Tanso, Fred Meyer/Kroger, Costco and Indow Window. Depin products were innovated as an option to traditional, heavier wooden shipping pallets and crates. Check out this video for more on the exceptional durability of Ecorrcrates.

The company now attributes its remarkable growth and expansion to adoption of its product by the enormous regional aerospace industry.

“We always had our eyes set on aerospace manufacturers and we do serve a number of industry vendors who use our crating products and helped to showcase just how lightweight, durable and efficient Ecorrcrate can be,” says Dan Bonebrake, founder and owner, Depin, Inc. “A common misconception in the industry was that our crates were limited with set sizes but we offer entirely customizable options. Our shipping products might vary from anything from a 2-foot by 2-foot crate to as large as 26-feet by 6-feet by 8-feet tall. We customize and offer extremely light recyclable shipping alternatives.”

The company, which continues to hire skilled labor, has added 15 new full-time employees since moving to Kalama to grow operations and distribution throughout the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Depin now employees close to 30 people and has invested in significant technological advancements to enhance productivity, efficiency and time-to-market.

“The Port of Kalama has been BEYOND exceptional—they are true business partners and have worked with us on our challenges associated with such dynamic and rapid growth,” says Bonebrake. “It’s a night and day experience compared with previous locations. We consider the Port team friends and we have been very, very fortunate to call Port of Kalama our headquarters—there’s such an advantage up here and it’s the perfect location to serve our markets.”

Depin is a part of a growing community of industries and businesses who have found the Port of Kalama an ideal location to grow their businesses.  The Port boasts an Industrial Park, shovel-ready land for manufacturing, technology, storage and a soon-to-be mixed-use commercial development, the Spencer Creek Business Park. As part of its mission to ensure public recreational access and facilities, the Port also manages 16 acres of public riverfront parks that stand out as destinations for locals and visitors alike.

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Port of Kalama awards contract for Spencer Creek Business Park Phase 1 Project

C & R Tractor and Landscaping, Inc. will construct roads, a roundabout, sidewalks, lighting and landscaping in the first phase of construction at Spencer Creek Business Park

The Port of Kalama board of commissioners awarded the contract for the Spencer Creek Business Park Phase 1 Improvements Project to C & R Tractor and Landscaping, Inc. of Kelso, WA. The $5,591,238.13 includes site preparation, grading, utilities, roads, a roundabout and sidewalks, new lighting and irrigation.

Contractor work at the Spencer Creek site is expected to commence in April 2019 and run through mid-summer. Traffic patterns will be impacted so the Port urges citizens to watch for signage and check the Port’s social media and blog channels for updates.

The Spencer Creek Business Park is being built as a part of the Port of Kalama’s long-term plan to diversify the region’s business and will support a mix of commercial business, retail, dining, lodging and light industrial.

Similar to the long-term build-out of the popular Kalama River Industrial Park, the Port constructs infrastructure like roads and utilities to invite business and opportunity to the community.

The Port has already invested in the recreational facility the community enjoys at East Port with the opening of Haydu Park. With the surface road project at Spencer Creek Business Park, the Port is on the way to developing the area to welcome new diverse businesses and jobs.

For more on the Spencer Creek Business Park, watch this video.

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Discover! The Circle of Life Port businesses create for our community

As an economic development entity, the Port of Kalama has developed considerable economic muscle to the benefit of Cowlitz County as well as the State of Washington. The growing steel sector at the Port of Kalama exemplifies the economic circle of life core to the Port’s success and that of its business partners! The Port is consistently welcoming new business and creating job opportunities for the region.

And that’s why the Port does what it does—helps to create the economic bedrock for the industrial and business sectors to thrive. This this inspiring video tells the story of the Port of Kalama’s thriving circle of life—and what it means to keep jobs here close to home.

Think of this economic cycle like this: the Port invests in the land, buildings, facilities and amenities necessary to draw business. In turn, companies and employees located here purchase materials, buy lunches and gas, and pay taxes. State and local taxes paid by port located companies exceed $95 million per year.

Local residents benefit from the significant capital investment of the businesses here at the Port of Kalama. Revenue from the wharves, leases, and business fees enable the Port to fulfill its mission of inducing capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities.

Thanks to port businesses and the port’s commitment to serving the public with parks, industrial facilities and marine terminals, walking paths and creating a unique tourist destination, locals can enjoy the bounty without paying a cent in taxes.

The Port’s tenants are the backbone of the entire Port of Kalama organization. They bring revenue streams that allow the Port to do all the other things it does—creating manufacturing jobs that are high-wage better our community and just create more economic activity. That enables us to have really good schools—to have good fire and police protection and all those other things we enjoy here.

According to Port of Kalama’s executive director Mark Wilson, the new industrial building at the Kalama River Industrial Park really showcases a microcosm of how that cycle works here at the Port:

  • Port companies bring in raw steel from international markets;
  • The steel comes across Port docks where it’s offloaded from ships by longshore laborers;
  • The steel is then moved into Steelscape LLC so Cowlitz County steel workers can process it;
  • And companies like Bridger Steel in turn purchase that steel—forming it onsite and actually having a hand in building the new industrial structure they are occupying.

 

The Port has built the infrastructure for industries to come in and thrive— welcoming good companies right here close to home is huge for the local workforce. All the players—the Port and its incredible business partners and tenants—have a piece of the puzzle that creates this thriving community and that’s how the Port succeeds and how these companies succeed as well.

It is so important and it’s not the kind of thing people think about very often. But these businesses are the cornerstone and foundation of what it takes to keep a community healthy, happy and growing.

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Port of Kalama awards contract for T-barge Pontoon Modification Project

WCT Marine and Construction will modify and prepare the T-barge to be used as a commercial wharf at the Port to better serve marine commerce

The Port of Kalama board of commissioners awarded the contract for the Port T-barge Pontoon Modification Project to WCT Marine and Construction, Inc. The $1,210,041.98 contract—including Washington sales tax— includes modifying and refurbishing components of the T-barge purchased by the Port to create a commercial dock space.

The contract work includes all labor, material, tools, equipment, permitting and supervision for the installation of components of the long-planned Port of Kalama T-barge Facility Project including furnishing and installing bulkheads, bullrails, fenders, ladders, new spud piles and a gangway landing platform.

The T-barge is expected to be placed at the Port of Kalama by summer.

The Port this week commences work at the north end of the marina on removal of steel and timber pipe piles, relocation of select piles, and installation of a new pier and gangway. The project is the first step to installing a commercial dock facility to better serve marine commerce.

 

 

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Port of Kalama commences work on T-barge Facility Project at north end of marina

The Port of Kalama board of commissioners awarded the contract for the Port T-barge Facility Project to Bergerson Construction late December. Work on the project commences at the north end of the marina next week.

The $1,131,871 contract—including Washington sales tax— includes the removal of steel and timber piles and placing new steel piles to prepare for placement of the T-barge purchased by the Port to create a commercial dock space.

The contract work includes all labor, material, tools, equipment, permitting and supervision for the installation of components of the long-planned Port of Kalama T-barge Facility Project including:

  • Demolition and removal of select timber and steel pipe piles
  • Relocation of select steel pipe piles and existing log boom
  • Installation of a new pier and gangway
  • Paving a parking area

 

“We want the public to be aware of the work going on at the north end of the marina so they can plan accordingly,” says Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “The project is the first step to installing the Port’s long-planned commercial dock facility to better serve marine commerce.”

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Discover! Port of Kalama progresses with next phase of improvements at Spencer Creek Business Park

The Port of Kalama is ready to commence the next phase of improvements at the Spencer Creek Business Park! The Port this week opened its bidding process for enhancements to Kalama River Road and Highway 99 including modifications to support additional traffic in the area and ease access for residents and visitors alike.

While the Port is still compacting land at the site for future mixed-use development, the next phase of construction will include modifying roads and traffic controls to ease flow and access to the East Port area. The Port is anticipating the needs of residents and the community into the future as Spencer Creek Business Park development continues over the years.

This spring, the community will see construction crews on site working on road enhancements like:

  • Additional turning lanes,
  • A new roundabout for a welcome to the area and efficient traffic flow,
  • New sidewalks and pathways for bikes and pedestrians, and
  • Aesthetic improvements like rain gardens, street lighting and other landscaping.

 

The area will be well-marked with signs to help explain the process and we encourage residents and visitors to visit our Facebook page and blog for updates and news on the work.

To enhance the community, the 70-acre Spencer Creek Business Park will fulfill a part of the Port’s mission to continue to create jobs and public recreational opportunities. The development may support a mix of light industrial, office, commercial and retail uses including:

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

 

Economic assessments as early as the mid-1990s identified a future need for additional mixed-use development along I-5 and for additional recreational opportunities.  The Port included this information in its Comprehensive Plan and Scheme of Harbor Improvements, and as suitable property became available, began purchasing land on the east side of I-5 and planning for mixed use development.  The result is the current development which has begun at I-5 Exit 32 and includes Haydu Park and the Spencer Creek Business Park.

Watch this video to find out more about what Spencer Creek Business Park will bring to our community.

Spencer Creek Business Park Concept

 

 

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Discover! The Columbia River connects us to the world and impacts our lives each day

The Columbia River is the largest river in the Pacific Northwest and the fourth largest river in the U.S. by volume at roughly 1,243 miles long. It originates in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, Canada, and flows south through Washington state until it meets with the Snake River near Pasco, Washington, and turns west. The Columbia River forms the border between Washington and Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean just west of Astoria, Oregon.

In Kalama, we all enjoy our rivers—home to world class fishing, boating and water sports not to mention the incredible scenic beauty of our place here on the Columbia. A part of the Port’s mission is to ensure our river continues to be a place where Northwest families can swim, hike, boat, and fish.

Throughout the Pacific Northwest, Ports support recreational opportunities by providing community marinas and river front access for the public. They also partner with other organizations to restore habitat and help protect river environments.

Many ports and companies who work on the rivers are heavily involved in efforts to improve salmon migration and habitat and support the recovery of healthy salmon populations. Just this last summer, the Port of Kalama provided matching funds for The Lower Columbia Fish Enhancement Group to launch the construction phase of the Kalama River Fish Enhancement Project at the Port of Kalama. The ambitious restoration project will enhance habitat for juvenile and adult fish, increase holding water for salmon and steelhead and create cover for fish to hide from predators.

Fishing is an important recreational and commercial enterprise on our rivers which depends on a healthy and sustainable fish population. According to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, Our Working Rivers,  thanks to 20 years of hard work and billions of dollars of Northwest ratepayer funds, fish populations on our Pacific Northwest rivers are stronger than they have been since 1938.

While our place on the Columbia River offers a connection to global trade, commerce and transportation, it also offers the community year-round recreational opportunities and boundless beauty and scenic pleasures. The Port of Kalama manages miles of riverfront playground, beaches, public parks and a state-of-the-art marina. As a key player in the Kalama community, the Port is responsible for enhancing public recreational opportunities.

We hope you’ll enjoy all of the public facilities the Port manages on behalf of the community.

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