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Category Archives: Port of Kalama News

Meet Randy Sweet, Secretary, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners!

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, 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!

“As a retired environmental scientist and businessman, I recognized the importance of environmental stewardship in growing our local economy and wanted to help shepherd these processes,” said Sweet when asked by he ran for the office. “My hope for the future of the Port is to continue providing family wage jobs and increase the tax base to support the City of Kalama as well as the school and fire districts.”

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.

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Port of Kalama pays homage to longest serving Port employee, dedicates new Haydu Park play structure to Linda Durgeloh Williams

Let’s play! The Port of Kalama has invested in a brand-new playground structure to grace the beautiful grounds at Haydu Park—and will dedicate the new amenity to the Port’s longest serving employee, Linda Durgeloh Williams. The Port pays homage to Williams for 45 years of dedication and service, retiring as Deputy Auditor.

The Port will host a dedication ceremony and celebration of the beautiful new play structure on Friday, May 10 at 4 p.m. and invites the community to join them to enjoy complimentary hot dogs and beverages. To commemorate the new park facilities the Port will also host locally-baked park-themed cookies. The AMALAK Plant Sale will also be open in the EXPO building at Haydu Park during the event.

The Port wanted to celebrate Williams’ commitment and contributions to the Port with a special dedication—she has witnessed some big moments at the Port: Williams saw the raising of the Totem Pole in 1974, the development of the North Port from a cow pasture into an industrial park, and development of a dock and corporate headquarters for Steelscape. She has seen the Oak Street overpass constructed and the installment of pedestrian and bike pathways throughout the Port.  Most impressively, she has witnessed the Port’s expansion from one to three operating docks and a roster that includes 18 full-time employees. A highlight that stands out for Linda is her ride on a navy ship from Astoria to the Portland Rose Festival.

As sunny weather approaches, there’s no better season to enjoy the natural beauty and outdoor recreation that are unique to Kalama. The Port is a key contributor to the Kalama community and is responsible for providing and enhancing public recreational opportunities. In addition to the new play structure, the Port recently completed the new community amphitheater in Marine Park, and managed a comprehensive renovation of the public marina.

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 


Congratulations to Linda! Now, let’s get outside and enjoy!

Photos: Saskia Van Verseveld

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Meet Troy Stariha, Vice President, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners!

Troy Stariha has served as a Commissioner for the Port of Kalama since 2010.  He also is currently serving on the Washington Public Ports Association (WPPA) Executive Committee and 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. Troy is the father of three boys and just welcomed his second grandchild! Much of his free time is spent attending his sons’ sporting events. Other hobbies include playing golf, watching NASCAR and attending community events.

Troy’s 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.

“I ran for Port Commissioner because I wanted be part of something that has such a positive influence on our community and be part of the decision making for the change we’ve seen and that yet to come,” says Stariha. “My hope for the Port is that we continue economic growth while creating a balance with recreational opportunities and development of properties that conform with our mission statement.”

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Meet Alan Basso, President, Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners!

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.

“There are so many things I am so proud of during my tenure at the Port—of the 75 public ports in Washington state, Kalama is one of about six that carries out our business without levying a property tax,” said Basso. “Together, this commission has signed a contract to modernize and operate TEMCO, which offers a revenue stream for many years to come; we built Haydu Park; we started work on the Spencer Creek Business Park; we brought McMenamins to Kalama and the Marina has been modernized. And the amphitheater will be ready for use this spring. But I think that the biggest accomplishment is the fact that as Commissioners, we can set policy, turn our small staff of professionals lose, and get things done.”

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RiverJunky returns to Port of Kalama for intensive clean-up of Kalama River at Haydu Park, this Saturday, May 4

Local fisherman founds nonprofit river conservation program, amasses thousands of volunteers to clean up and conserve waterways around the Pacific Northwest


It was the perfect summer day for fishing on the Kalama River when local fisherman Jarrod Kirkley reeled in a stunning steelhead. What he found next totally ruined the moment: sticking out of the fish was a used hypodermic needle. Sickened by the find Kirkley got to thinking about what he could do to clean up and conserve his beautiful playground: a new river conservation program was born.

Meet RiverJunky Washington, a river-certified waterway conservation 501 (c) (3) whose mission it is to clean up rivers in the Pacific Northwest and reduce the impact of debris and garbage on the river ecosystem.

Kirkley expects around 200 volunteers at the Kalama River conservation efforts which will convene at the Port of Kalama’s Haydu Park at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 4th. Teams of 7 to 10 volunteers will be dispersed to areas along the Kalama River for clean-up. The organization supplies all trucks, trailers, garbage bags, gloves and hand sanitation.

Interested volunteers are encouraged to call 541-441-7037 to participate or just show up on Saturday. RiverJunky rewards all volunteers with free gifts, raffle prizes and a hosted meal for all after.

“I’ve literally been fishing since I was two years old and I got so tired of angling in what was becoming a wasteland—I knew I had to do something to help clean up the situation,” says Kirkley, a third-generation construction professional with his family’s Beavercreek Construction Company in Castle Rock, Washington. “My goal is to raise the awareness of others who care about our rivers and continue to build a volunteer base to carry on these important conservation efforts.”

Since the inception of RiverJunky, Kirkley has organized thousands of volunteers and attracted thousands of followers to his website and social channels. His local efforts have cleaned up several Pacific Northwest waterways including the Cowlitz River and Puyallup River; and his conservation model has been replicated now in states as far away as New York.

“Our motto is ‘if one person is cleaning up trash it makes our world one times better; but if 100 people are cleaning up trash it makes our world 100 times better!” says Kirkley. “We really appreciate all of our volunteers who join in these important endeavors.”

RiverJunky is a nonprofit organization funded from public donations and sponsorships. All proceeds go directly to river conservation.

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Every day is EARTH DAY at the Port of Kalama!

What does Earth Day mean to us? It means celebrating our incredible home in the beautiful Pacific Northwest—and all of the awe-inspiring natural resources and outdoor assets that define our sense of place here.

As a special district here in Kalama, the Port of Kalama exists to ensure that the environment, recreational amenities and the economy are all healthy and thriving—working together in harmony. With a mission to provide recreational facilities for the community with insightful environmental stewardship—the Port invests in treasures that make Kalama a better place to live.

This Earth Day we celebrate the many recreational and outdoor assets we enjoy in this treasured place we call home. A key part of our mission is to ensure outdoor recreation facilities are planned, developed and maintained for tax-free public use—and this Earth Day we unveil some of our newest contributions to Kalama parks, beaches, marina and other recreational features.

Join us in celebrating these new community enhancements:

  • State-of-the-art playground facilities are now open at Haydu Park.
  • A long-planned community amphitheater is ready to open at Marine Park to host events, concerts and other festivities
  • The Port marina has been renovated to better serve public recreation and ensure environmentally-healthy marine facilities.
  • Port beaches at Rasmussen Park were nourished with clean, fresh sand dredged from the TEMCO berth basin to address beach erosion and maintain healthy fish habitat along a beautiful stretch of shoreline for public enjoyment.

We live here. Many of us are raising our families here—or even grew up here. We invest in things that make Kalama a better place to live.

Now, let’s get outside and play!

Happy Earth Day!






Photos: Saskia Van Verseveld

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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 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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PUBLIC HEARING: Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility, December 13th, 6 to 9 pm, Cowlitz County Event Center


Kalama Manufacturing & Marine Export Facility

December 13th, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm; doors open at 5:00 pm.

Cowlitz County Event Center located at 1900 7th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632

Purpose of this Notice:  The purpose of this notice is to inform the public that the Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft Supplemental EIS) for the Kalama Manufacturing and Marine Export Facility (the proposed project) is being released for public review and comment. A public hearing will be conducted where the public may comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS. An expanded comment period will begin on November 13, 2018 and end on December 28, 2018. All comments received during the comment period will be reviewed and considered in the preparation of the Final Supplemental EIS.

Description of Proposal:  NW Innovation Works, LLC – Kalama (NWIW) proposes to develop and operate a natural gas-to-methanol production plant and storage facilities on approximately 90 acres in the Port of Kalama (Port). The proposed project objective is the manufacture and shipment of methanol to global markets, primarily in Asia for use as a feedstock for manufacturing olefins used in the production of plastics and other materials. Natural gas will be delivered to the methanol plant via a proposed new transmission pipeline lateral. Northwest Pipeline GP will be responsible for obtaining permits for and constructing this pipeline, extending from its existing pipeline approximately three miles through unincorporated Cowlitz County and the City of Kalama. Methanol will be transferred by pipeline across Port property from the storage area to a deep draft marine terminal on the Columbia River including a new dock and new berth with associated dredging.

The Draft Supplemental EIS supplements the previously prepared Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued for the proposed project on 30 September 2016 with additional analysis and consideration of mitigation for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to the project. The Supplemental EIS is being prepared to address findings by the Washington State Shoreline Hearings Board in its 15 September 2017 Order on Motions for Partial Summary Judgment (SHB No. 17‐010c) and the Cowlitz County Superior Court Order Affirming in Part and Reversing in Part the Shorelines Hearings Board Order dated 15 September 2017 (Superior Court Case No. 17-2-01269-08).

The Supplemental EIS includes a GHG life-cycle analysis covering the following sources of GHG emissions:

(1) GHG emissions attributable to construction of the project;

(2) On-site direct GHG emissions from the project;

(3) GHG emissions from purchased power, including consideration of the potential sources of generation that would satisfy the new load;

(4) GHG emissions potentially attributable to the project from natural gas production, collection, processing, and transmission;

(5) GHG emissions from shipping methanol product to a representative Asian port; and

(6) GHG emissions associated with changes in the methanol industry and related markets that may be induced by the proposed project’s methanol production.

Based on this GHG life cycle analysis and voluntary mitigation measures proposed by the applicant, the Draft Supplemental EIS finds that there are no unavoidable significant adverse impacts due to GHG emissions.

Proponent:  Northwest Innovation Works LLC and the Port of Kalama.

Location of the Proposal:  The project would be located on land leased from the Port. The site is located on the Columbia River in unincorporated Cowlitz County.  It is accessible from Tradewinds Road, a private Port road.

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) Co-Lead Agencies: The Port of Kalama and Cowlitz County are co-lead agencies. The Port is the nominal lead, responsible for complying with the SEPA lead agency duties for the SEPA review process.

Availability of Draft Supplemental EIS copies:  The Draft Supplemental EIS and supporting documents are available for viewing and downloading at and copies of the document are also available for review at the following locations:

Port of Kalama Administrative Office: 110 W. Marine Drive, Kalama, WA.

Kalama Public Library: 312 North 1st, Kalama, WA.

Cowlitz County Department of Building & Planning: 207 Fourth Ave N., Suite 119, Kelso, WA.

Longview Public Library: 1600 Louisiana Street, Longview, WA.

Kelso Public Library: 351 Three Rivers Drive, Kelso, WA

Copies of the Draft Supplemental EIS on disk may be requested by contacting the responsible official below. The Port reserves the option of charging for the costs of this reproduction.

Public Hearing: A public hearing will be held on December 13, 2018 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cowlitz County Event Center located at 1900 7th Avenue, Longview, WA 98632. The public hearing venue is ADA accessible.

Public Comment Period: Agencies, affected tribes, and members of the public are invited to comment on the Draft Supplemental EIS during the expanded comment period, which begins on November 13, 2018 and ends at 5:00 p.m. on December 28, 2018. Written comments will be accepted in the following manner:

Mail:    KMMEF EIS, C/o SEPA Responsible Official, Port of Kalama, 110 West Marine Drive, Kalama, WA 98625



SEPA Responsible Officials:

Ann Farr, Port of Kalama

Elaine Placido, Cowlitz County Director of Building and Planning


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