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Category Archives: Discover! Port of Kalama

Discover! A history of stewardship on the river

Like other Pacific Northwest ports, Port of Kalama is an economic and environmental steward of the regional river system. The Port collaborates with regional organizations like Our Working Rivers, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association and Washington Public Ports Association to ensure the health of our river system.

Three main rivers running through the Pacific Northwest—the Columbia River, Willamette River and the Snake River—all support the livelihood of our communities, economy, recreation and quality of life. More than 40,000 jobs in the Pacific Northwest exist because of our strong maritime commerce.

With a key economic and recreational location on the Columbia River, it is the mission of the Port of Kalama to keep the river working for the entire community. The Columbia River plays a vital role in the commerce and trade that support our town. In fact, Kalama was founded because of our place on the river.

Today, 50 million tons of cargo travel up and down the Columbia River. It is the third largest grain export gateway in the world, exporting more than 50% of the nation’s wheat.

We’re all interconnected through our rivers.

Kalama is more resilient and prosperous because of our location on the Columbia River and its connection to the global marketplace. Port of Kalama joins other Pacific Northwest ports as the economic engines of our region working with shippers, barge lines, export companies and farmers to transport cargo like grain, automobiles, lumber and steel up and down the Columbia River safely, efficiently and successfully.

Our River. Our Livelihood. Our Quality of Life.

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Discover! Come play at the Port of Kalama!

Welcome Summer! There’s no better season to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor recreation that abound here in Kalama.

As a key contributor to the Kalama community, the Port is responsible for providing and enhancing public recreational opportunities. Nestled on the banks of the Columbia River, the Port of Kalama is home to miles of walking paths, water activities and world-class fishing, a state-of-the-art marina and acres of public parks.

Port of Kalama’s celebrated parks offer:

  • Beaches and waterfront for boating and fishing
  • Sporting facilities for soccer, baseball, tennis, football
  • Equestrian arena
  • Picnic facilities and covered areas
  • Walking paths
  • Expo area for events

 

The Port operates and maintains these gorgeous parks for the community to enjoy—and all at no cost to the public. Come visit!

  • Haydu Park
  • Marine Park
  • Louis Rasmussen Park
  • Port of Kalama Marina

 

Port of Kalama’s Transportation Interpretive Center

NEW WEEKEND HOURS 11a – 4p Saturday and Sunday

In addition to public parks and recreational amenities, the Port of Kalama opened a beautiful Transportation Interpretive Center in November, 2014 to showcase its rich history. Exhibits track Kalama’s early inhabitants, the Cowlitz Tribe, and the settlers that followed over the next 100 plus years including renowned Oregon Trail writer Ezra Meeker. Displays illustrate how Kalama’s particular landscape gave birth to a booming transportation system impacting the area both culturally and economically— ultimately transforming the area into its position today as an internationally-connected community. The Interpretive Center not only tells the story of how Kalama was settled but treats visitors to artful display models and replicas.

 

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Discover! What’s new at Spencer Creek Business Park—how is that a part of the Comprehensive Plan?

In the late 1990s Port of Kalama commissioners started considering the future needs of the community and investments required to keep the Kalama’s economic engine on track creating jobs and strategic growth. The result of that thoughtful planning process is the beginning of the Spencer Creek Business Park. Port predecessors worked strategically for decades to plan and prepare for the success the region is now experiencing.

The Port’s economic assessments identified a future need for additional mixed-use development along I-5 and for additional recreational opportunities. The Port included the assessment in its Comprehensive Scheme and Plan of Harbor Improvements and began purchasing land as it became available.

The ‘Comp Scheme’ planning process is open to the public and the community is invited to comment on proposed economic and recreational planning that culminate in the Port’s Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvement that will benefit Kalama long into the future. The Port of Kalama conducts an annual strategic planning process to target investments, land acquisitions and community amenities to achieve plans outlined in the Comp Scheme.

“All of our Port developments—from the Kalama River Industrial Park to marina upgrades and development of the recreational facilities like Haydu Park—are driven by our Comp Scheme and strategic plan and our observation of what the region needs for economic and recreational health deep into the future,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “With development moving north from Clark County up I-5—we are in a natural position to be the location of the next stage of development. And because of decades of careful planning, we are prepared for it. We’ll have local control over what happens at the site and what kinds of businesses are recruited—we’ll do it in a way that is wise and appropriate for our community.”

The land at Spencer Creek Business Park is still being surcharged to prepare for construction, and the next phase of development will include road improvements, curbs, sidewalks, utility extensions and all of the critical infrastructure to serve the area’s growth and prosperity.

Thanks to responsible planning over decades the Port enjoys a thriving recreational system with parks and playgrounds, a new sports complex, and popular riverfront, pathways and marina enhancements. All of these business and recreational assets improve the health, livability and economy here—and all without any Port-levied taxes.

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Discover! New Industrial Park Building scheduled to open late summer—who are the tenants?

In response to demand for light industrial space at the Port of Kalama, the board of commissioners approved the expansion of Kalama River Industrial Park with a new 120,000 square foot building.  Building design and permitting are expected to be complete for new tenants late summer!

The Port’s industrial buildings were nearing capacity and there is increasing demand from businesses wishing to relocate and expand here—all just 30 minutes north of Portland, Oregon where industrial space is hard to find.  So the Port got to work in order to welcome two new tenants to the new industrial building: introducing Bridger Steel and Marco Industries, both large manufacturing entities that will make a significant contribution to the Port business scene.

“Kalama has experienced consistent growth and demand for light industrial and manufacturing facilities over the last several years—as a result, we are confident this new building will be fully-leased in short order,” says Liz Newman, marketing manager, Port of Kalama. “A mission of the Port is to continue to create economic development, revenue and job opportunities not only for our community but the entire region. We believe we are on a significant growth trajectory to succeed in that objective.”

Bridger Steel

Bridger Steel Inc., a premier metal manufacturer of panel systems for roofing, siding and interior applications, signed a lease with the Port of Kalama for 30,000 square feet of office and warehouse space and another 10,000-square foot covered area for loading trucks. The company serves the US and Canada, as well as Europe and the Pacific Rim. Bridger prides itself on delivering the highest level of service and support to partners and upholding a standard of quality in everything they create.

Marco Industries

Marco Industries,  an industry leader in the manufacture and distribution of quality accessory products for the metal roofing and cladding industry, also signed a lease for 30,000 square feet of warehouse and office space at the Port of Kalama. Marco Industries manufactures and distributes ventilation, closure, fasteners, flashing, underlayment and other accessories for metal roofs and wall systems and expects to hire eight to ten employees in its start-up phase at the Port. Numerous Marco products have been utilized in the construction of the new building.

Next up: Discover! Summer at Port of Kalama

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Discover! Who are port industries and businesses—how do they support the Kalama community?

The Port of Kalama is home to more than 30 companies employing more than 1,000 people. Manufacturing companies, storage facilities, distribution business, exporters, recycling agents, trucking companies and many others make their home in Kalama. They benefit from the Port’s superior customer service and business support. And because of comprehensive planning, we’ve still got room to grow!

“The Port of Kalama is the ideal location for us to expand our business facilities and better serve our customers in the Pacific Northwest,” says Steve Collins, National Sales and Marketing Director, Bridger Steel Inc., a company expanding operations at the Port’s new industrial building opening at the end of the summer. “Kalama’s location and proximity to I-5 will enable us to serve a very large area of the Pacific Northwest very quickly.”

All Port businesses and industries give back to our community. Kalama residents are the beneficiaries of the significant capital investment of the businesses here at the Port of Kalama. Revenue from wharf usage, leases, and other 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, recreational facilities, walking paths and a state-of-the-art marina, locals enjoy the bounty without paying a cent in taxes.

For a list of all businesses and industries making their home at Port of Kalama, click here.

Next up: Discover! New Industrial Park Building opens later this summer—who are the tenants?

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Discover! Does the Port levy taxes?

No taxes! Decades of strategic planning by past port commissioners continues to ensure the required revenue to maintain port facilities, parks and services for all residents with no taxes added. Every year the Port of Kalama commission is required to declare whether it will levy property taxes on residents living in the Port district area. With careful planning and project management, the port continues to maintain all long-term economic development projects as well as public facilities with the existing revenue it collects from business operations.

Regional residents are beneficiaries of the significant capital investment of the businesses here at the Port of Kalama. Revenue from wharf usage, leases, and other 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.

About 78% of the Port’s value is invested in capital assets which include land, buildings, docks, improvements such as roads and utilities, and equipment which are valued at over $132 million, The Port owns and manages over 1,000 acres of property which includes our parks.  Major projects in 2016 included building two warehouses, acquiring property near I5 Exit 32, and completion of the marina parking and trail project.

Next up: Discover! Who are port industries and businesses—how do they support the Kalama community?

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Discover! What is the economic impact of Port of Kalama?

As an economic development entity and a land developer, the Port of Kalama has developed considerable economic muscle to the benefit of Cowlitz County as well as the State of Washington. In the State of Washington, the Port supports:

  • 1220 full-time direct jobs with over $129 million in payroll
  • Beyond Port boundaries, 2156 indirect jobs and 1399 induced jobs, with a combined payroll of $219 million
  • Total economic impact: 4775 jobs with over $349 million in payroll and over $3 billion in economic output
  • Spencer Creek Business Park’s projected economic impact could mean an additional 727 construction jobs and 907 ongoing jobs over the next 20 years, with an estimated total direct, indirect and induced impact of over 3000 jobs

 

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.

In 2016, the Port of Kalama Administration paid over $5 million to suppliers, over $2.1 million for staff, and over $355,000 in taxes. All of this enters the economic “circle of life” and supports our community through additional purchasing and supporting those indirect and induced jobs.

The Port is consistently honored with the Pathways 2020 Community Champions Award for Economic Vitality which awards organizations that excel at creating jobs, employee training, employable skills, new or expanding business, transportation, financial security, reducing poverty, and higher wages.

Next up: Discover! Does the Port levy taxes?

Port of Kalama Marine Terminal

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Discover! What is the Port’s business model—how does it generate revenue?

Included in the Port’s sources of revenue are leases of various Port properties and buildings, marine terminals, services associated with grain terminal & break-bulk docks and the Kalama marina.

About 78% of the Port’s value is invested in capital assets which include land, buildings, docks, improvements such as roads and utilities, and equipment which are valued at over $132 million.

The Port owns and manages over 1,000 acres of property which includes our parks.

 

Next up: Discover! What is the economic impact of Port of Kalama?

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Discover! What projects is the Port now working on—and are they are a part of the Comprehensive Plan and Scheme of Harbor Improvements?

From the new Spencer Creek Business Park to a new building in the Kalama River Industrial Park, McMenamins locating here, and international businesses choosing Kalama as the perfect place to grow—all of these exist now thanks to years and years of contemplation, collaboration and diligent planning. Port predecessors worked thoughtfully for decades to plan and prepare for the regional success the region is now experiencing.

The Port continues the community’s history and pioneering vision of growing with purpose and intention—in ways that will benefit the entire region for decades to come. This vision brings with it thousands of jobs, revenue streams, economic vitality and opportunities for all who live in Cowlitz County.

Thanks to responsible planning over decades the Port enjoys a thriving recreational system with parks and playgrounds, a new sports complex, and popular riverfront, pathways and marina enhancements. All of these business and recreational assets improve the health, livability and economy here—and all without any Port-levied taxes.

Some examples of decades of Port planning manifesting in projects that will benefit the entire region include:

The North Port Heavy Industrial Site, which will be the home of the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility, has been identified and developed to support such industry for over 20 years and through multiple Comprehensive Planning processes.  Specifically, the plans have identified construction of a new wharf, installing roads and utilities, and developing a water system for industrial use

Spencer Creek Business Park: 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 the Comprehensive Plan, and as suitable property became available, began purchasing and planning.  The result is the current development which has begun at I-5 Exit 32 and includes Haydu Park and the Spencer Creek Business Park.

Next up: Discover! What is the Port’s business model—and how does it generate revenue?

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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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