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Discover! New industrial building opens to welcome a growing cluster of steel manufacturing companies offering local family wage jobs in Kalama

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. As part of its economic mission, the Port works hard to offer employers an array of properties and buildings that result in excellent family wage jobs and opportunities.

The Port’s long-term comprehensive planning process was designed to create this balanced and diverse industry base, and new buildings and amenities are a key part of the plan to attract tenants.

Port of Kalama’s newest tenants, Bridger Steel and Marco Industries, are large manufacturing entities that play a significant role in the steel manufacturing cluster emerging at the Port. The companies join other organizations like Steelscape, CE Metal Fabrication, Christiansen Enterprises LLC, and Aero-Vac Alloys & Forge to leverage Kalama’s place in the region and create good local jobs. Partnerships like these create long-term opportunities for the next generation of local talent to live, work and raise families close to home.

The growing steel sector at the Port of Kalama showcases the economic circle of life core to the mission of the Port commission—creating economic development, revenue and job opportunities not only for the Kalama community but the entire region. The Port is now experiencing growth in this steel industry where companies are able to import steel, manufacture and install products for use right at the Port and elsewhere around the region. It’s huge for next generations coming up who can live, work and play right here in Kalama and put their own stamp—and pride—on high-visibility projects in their home community.

Check out this video of the economic circle of life created by this growing steel cluster.

And please join us in welcoming the newest members of our business community—learn more about Bridger Steel and Marco Industries:

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.

 

 

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Discover! New marina amenities at Port of Kalama and more on the way soon!

We’ve come a long way! Earlier this year the Port of Kalama embarked on a comprehensive marina renovation project that would enhance and update the popular riverfront facility for patrons and guests. With a world-class facility in mind—designed for fishing, boating and water recreation—the Port has made great strides this year to create the renovations and upgrades to the Port of Kalama Marina that have ultimately enhanced the user experience.

The Port today announces that the following enhancements are complete:

  • The boat launch has been replaced with two lanes open for launch traffic.
  • All docks have been replaced at the boat launch and fuel dock.
  • A state-of-the-art fuel system and new digital self-service pump have been installed—accepting Visa, Mastercard, and Voyager credit cards and open 24 hours a day.
  • Waler boards and power pedestals have been replaced in boathouse C.
  • Gangways have been replaced at the fuel dock and boat ramp

 

Marina project upgrades still underway include:

  • Waler board replacements in Boathouses A and B AND C.
  • Boathouse utilities like the new metal pedestals and electricity—which are underway in all houses.

 

While there is still amphitheater construction in Marine Park and Louis Rasmussen Park, walking paths have been repaved with new lighting and are open for visitors.

Port of Kalama’s celebrated parks are all open for business and offer incredible amenities and popular venues for family enjoyment:

  • 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

 

Please sign up for email project updates at www.portofkalama.com under the contact tab, and follow the Port on Facebook, where there will be updates and information for marina users. Marina patrons can also sign up for email notices and updates by filling out the form here.

Questions can also be directed to the Port administrative office 360-673-2325 at any time.

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

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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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To our fellow Kalama Community

Like you, we are saddened to see the results of the weather exposure the Lalooska totem poles have endured over time. We’d like to clarify just a few points.

  • Port of Kalama does not own these poles—we are the host venue.
  • We are working closely with the family of owners to help them with the best way to determine the future of the pole.
  • The Port is investing in engineering consultants to help us—and the family—understand the best—and safest—way to bring the tallest totem to the ground for more evaluation.
  • Until we all know how the tallest totem has been impacted by weather and exposure, we don’t yet know the best solution.
  • We want to keep everyone up-to-date as we receive more information from both engineering teams and the family that owns these treasures.
  • There are three totems that will remain upright at this location while we analyze the tallest which stands at 140’.
  • Engineering specialists advised the Port of Kalama commission that the tallest totem is a potential safety hazard as it is not likely to withstand riverside winds as it once did.
  • The totems are hosted at one of the Port’s most-visited public parks—public safety at Port parks and beaches is our number one concern and priority.

 

We hope that the Kalama community understands that we are doing the best we can to move quickly with engineering and the family of owners to assure a timely solution for the totem.

Thank you all so much for your patience as we identify the best route to proceed.

 

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Port of Kalama engages structural engineering team to evaluate weather-worn Totem Poles at Marine Park

With weathering and wear of the iconic wooden structures, the Port contracted WRK Engineers to examine the condition of the totems

While the Lelooska Totem Poles are beloved structures hosted at the Port of Kalama, time and weather exposure have taken their toll. As a result, the Port of Kalama contracted WRK Engineers to evaluate the structural integrity of the tallest of the wooden symbols standing 140’ high.

The Port engaged the engineering firm to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the tallest pole and its current ability to withstand strong winds and other weather. Early findings show impairment has affected the structural integrity of the pole—and thus the public safety of keeping it installed.

Port of Kalama Board of Commissioners last night declared the project to take down the 140’ pole an emergency action and instructed staff to immediately investigate options to remove the pole. An emergency action is taken when there’s a risk to public safety.

Staff will work with the engineering team to determine the best way to move the pole without creating further damage. The other totem structures will remain upright for now.

The Port is in close communications with the family who owns the totem poles to determine the best solution to potentially restore and maintain them.

The Port encourages visitors to be aware of contractor activity in the area around the structures and to watch for further updates to the plight of the Kalama icons.

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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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Port of Kalama and Executive Director Mark Wilson awarded for contributions to education and the Kalama School District

The Port of Kalama and Executive Director Mark Wilson have been honored with the 2018 Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) Community Leadership Award for the Columbia River Region. The award recognizes Wilson’s and the Port of Kalama’s many contributions to the Kalama School District. The Port was instrumental in organizing the Kalama High School Career Fair and recruiting Port businesses to participate in an effort to educate students on career and job opportunities in the region and at the Port.

The regional meeting of Washington Association of School Administrators (WASA) honored organizations and community leaders for significant contributions to education and schools. Hosted by Educational Service District 112, the ceremony recognized honorees for the contributions they make to school districts in the region.

“Mark Wilson and Port of Kalama commissioners have been instrumental in forging a cooperative new direction for district-port relations. Through these efforts, Kalama School District has engaged Port and Cowlitz businesses in the Kalama Days Career Fair promoting career awareness among Kalama students and giving them increased motivation to do well in school,” says Mike Nerland, WASA Honorary Awards Committee Columbia River Region 112. “Your efforts have also helped foster the development of a STEM network in Cowlitz County. We thank you for your support of students and families in Kalama School District and throughout Cowlitz County.”

Industries at the Port of Kalama employ more than 1,000 people with Fortune 500 companies conducting global business and commerce including import/export, manufacturing, marketing, welding and steel work, recycling, trucking and any myriad other commercial and industrial enterprises. They choose Kalama for its ideal location in the heart of the Pacific Northwest on the highway, railroad and river.

“We are delighted to be recognized with this notable award. The Port of Kalama is working hard to develop a closer relationship between the students and faculty of the Kalama Schools and the Port’s business partners on the waterfront. We will continue to offer opportunities to meet members of the business community here and learn about the work we do, as well as career opportunities for students,” says Mark Wilson, executive director, Port of Kalama. “We hope to improve the understanding of the business activities here and let students know about the many career opportunities that can be found right here in the community.”

Eric Nerison, Kalama School District Superintendent, left, and Mark Wilson, Executive Director, Port of Kalama, receiving award.,

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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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Port of Kalama amphitheater construction commences

The Port of Kalama next week commences the Amphitheater and Park Improvements Construction Project. The first phase is to create new pathways with lighting and security cameras.

Beginning Monday, May 21, some pathways through Marine Park and Louis Rasmussen Park will be detoured. The intermittent closures are expected to last no more than two weeks. The playground will remain open.

The short-term project includes construction of a small outdoor amphitheater and maintenance at Marine Park including excavation, grading, and concrete to create seating, and construction of a covered stage as well as:

• Replacement of the asphalt walkway in Marine and Rasmussen Parks,
• Installation of lighted bollards along the asphalt walkway, and
• Replacement of the irrigation system in Marine Park

The Port of Kalama has long considered the community benefits of creating a small public amphitheater on the Kalama waterfront to accommodate a growing number of events, concerts and public activities.

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