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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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Port Discover! Campaign continues in 2019 to keep you informed

Last January, the Port launched the Discover! campaign. Discover! was created to educate, inform and keep our Kalama neighbors up-to-date as we evaluate and make investments in our community—all while protecting and enhancing our natural resources.

Our mission statement, ‘to induce capital investment in an environmentally responsible manner to create jobs and to enhance public recreational opportunities”, is our guide as we navigate through myriad complex economic and recreational opportunities. And we want you to be apprised—every step of the way.

Did you know the Port has been around since 1920—born of an organized vote of Kalama citizens? Today, the elected Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners meets bi-monthly to discuss Port business and set policy based on a legal community directive called a Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements. Meetings are open to the public and you can find the schedule here. 

We invite readers to join us on our journey—access  information and learn about our investment policies, new and ongoing Port construction, recreational site upgrades and additions, and upcoming events in the area.

The Port is dedicated to being a transparent and committed steward of the Kalama community. Discover! allows you to keep a finger on the pulse as we pursue our goals outlined in our mission statement, and progress on an environmentally and economically responsible path.

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Discover! We’re looking forward to another fantastic year of exploration and progress!

We’re heading into a bright new year and we’ve got a plan!

It’s been a busy year welcoming new tenants to the Port of Kalama, furthering our mission and planning for future projects that are on the way. The commission and staff completed a Strategic Plan in late September—including projects for 2019 and up to five years of potential activity.

Ports in Washington are required by law to create a Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements—a long-range planning and policy document. Annually, the Port updates the Strategic Plan outlining specific actions to implement including a budget for proposed projects. That process is always open to public comment.

Some projects include routine activities like dredging at the docks to maintain access, funding our share of Corps of Engineers Columbia River maintenance dredging, and maintaining Port security systems. Other activities include further development at the Spencer Creek Business Park like roads and traffic improvements.

The plan also includes a budget for constructing infrastructure at North Port, pending the receipt of all approvals and permits for the Northwest Innovation Works project.

We will continue the marina repairs and upgrades with a major extension of the guest dock, lighting the boardwalk, and installing crosswalk safety measures.  We are moving forward to install a light commercial dock near the marina entrance for vessels serving ships calling on Columbia River ports.

Additional improvements to the waterfront parks are planned for 2019—replacing the Rasmussen Park restrooms, adding fence to address safety concerns, installing fitness equipment, and improving beach access are included.

And if you’re out for a stroll, check out the new amphitheater in Marine Park. McMenamins has plans for free concerts there next summer!

Although the plan is long and detailed, like any business we must remain flexible and open to opportunity that will benefit our community.  We are ready to respond when opportunities arise that further our goals for economic development and job creation and recreational assets.

We wish you all a very Happy New Year and look forward to greeting you in 2019!

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Discover! Let’s take a look back at what we’ve explored in 2018

It’s been almost a year since we launched our Discover! campaign—a bi-weekly blog planned to help Kalama residents and visitors better understand what we do, and why!

We explored questions like Who are we? What do we do? Why do we do it? Who makes the decisions and how? And we’ve received excellent responses—we look forward to continuing the discovery with you in 2019!

Now let’s take a look back at some highlights of Discover! before we continue our journey into 2019.

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.

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 Port Commission ensures a sound economic development strategy for the Port creating a balanced and diverse industry base to provide living wage jobs and a range of community recreational amenities.

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 Plan—required by law—to ensure that the environment, economy and community assets are thoughtfully planned to work in harmony with one another.

What is the role of the Port’s commissioners or elected officials?

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 help 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.

Does the Port levy taxes on the citizens of Kalama?

No taxes! Decades of strategic planning by past and current Port commissioners continue to ensure the required revenue to maintain port facilities, parks and services for all residents with no taxes added. 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—not from taxes.

What Port projects are underway?

From Spencer Creek Business Park and the North Port Heavy Industrial Site 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 commission predecessors worked thoughtfully for decades to plan and prepare for the regional success the region is now experiencing.

What is the Port of Kalama’s bottom line?

What’s our bottom line? To make Kalama the most livable place it can be. As community stewards, our mission is to ensure that environment, economy and community assets are thoughtfully planned to work in harmony with one another. It is our mission to preserve our natural resources, ensure clean water and fresh air and co-habitat with the wildlife that share this place with us while growing our economy and jobs.

To review more of the Discover! community education campaign, click here to visit more on our blog page.

Thank you for joining us on this informational voyage as we explored all of the complexities, programs, contributions and responsibilities of the largest Special Purpose District in Kalama—your Port of Kalama.

We’ll be back in January with new insights and discoveries!

Season’s Greetings to All!

Have questions? Call us at 360/673-2325

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

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING:

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 https://kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com 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

Email:  seis@kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com

Website:  https://kalamamfgfacilitysepa.com

SEPA Responsible Officials:

Ann Farr, Port of Kalama

Elaine Placido, Cowlitz County Director of Building and Planning

 

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Discover! Our place on the Columbia River connects us to international trade and commerce

Three main rivers running through the Pacific Northwest create a transportation system and economic engine like few others in the world. The Columbia River, Willamette River and the Snake River create a world class maritime network to support the livelihood of our communities, economy, recreation and quality of life.

The Port of Kalama boasts sweeping riverfront industrial acreage, deep draft river channel for import/export, and the most efficient grain elevator on the west coast.  Thanks to its place on the river—and a multitude of transportation systems—more than 30 companies, employing more than 1,000 people, call the Port of Kalama home, including a variety of new and emerging businesses.

And we owe many of our collective successes, productivity and business partnerships—old and new—to our prime location right on the beautiful Columbia River. It’s one of the most traveled working rivers in the region.

The Columbia River connects us to international markets

Thanks to our Pacific Northwest river system, regional Ports offer access to a marine network which helps connect farmers in the Midwest with bakers in China and car factories in Japan with dealerships across our region. According to the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, Our Working Rivers, over 40,000 jobs in our region depend on the trade opportunities provided by our working rivers.

Without the benefits offered by these rivers, our cities would pay more for goods and our farmers would be unable to compete internationally.

Environmental bonuses

Barging on our rivers keeps over 700,000 semi-trucks off our region’s highways each year. A single barge tow can carry as much cargo as 538 semi-trucks or 140 rail cars and uses far less fuel as compared to rail and trucks. Thanks to this efficiency our air is cleaner and our highways less congested. Companies across the region depend on barging to deliver products and keep their businesses moving.

Jobs on the river

There are thousands of Northwest jobs connected to our rivers and in ensuring they continue to play an important role in all of our lives. From longshoreman to Port environmental workers to barge operators, many different companies and industries depend on our rivers.

River ports—including the Port of Kalama—serve as the economic engine for the region and support many additional jobs indirectly.

For more on the mighty river system that connects us all, visit Our Working Rivers.

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