Port of Kalama mourns the passing of Port commissioner, Alan Basso, who died Friday, November 27 due to cardiac arrest.  Basso served as a port commissioner since being appointed in 2012 to fill the District #2 vacancy, following longtime Port of Kalama Commissioner, Jim Lucas.

A longtime Kalama resident and steadfast public servant, Basso grew up in Kalama and was a significant part of the fabric of its community. He served as a Lieutenant and Fire Investigator with the Longview Fire Department, substitute teacher for Kalama School District and as a part time Juvenile Detention Officer with the Cowlitz County Juvenile Detention Center.  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.

“We will remember Alan for his upbeat personality and tireless service to his community,” says Port of Kalama commission president, Troy Stariha. “Our hearts go out to his family, and all who knew him as a firefighter, teacher, commissioner and friend—Alan will be so dearly missed by all of us here at the Port and the entire community.”

Stariha remembers his colleague as a genuine person and larger-than-life fixture in the community. “Basso was such an important friend and part of the entire community. As a commissioner, he was dedicated to upholding the Port’s values and ensuring its many contributions to the community—he took pride in knowing that he played a part in enhancing the quality of life we enjoy here in Kalama. And he had profound knowledge of Kalama and Port history which helped direct many Port considerations and decisions.”

During Basso’s tenure as commissioner, the Port of Kalama experienced a remarkable period of growth and accomplishments—all of which not only enhanced Kalama’s livability but established the port’s position as an economic development engine and business hub for the region.  Just some of the notable events during Basso’s tenure include:

  • Construction of the Port Office and Interpretive Center
  • McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge
  • Development of Spencer Creek Business Park
  • Marina modernization
  • Development of Haydu Park
  • Construction of two warehouses for Steelscape
  • Construction of a large multitenant warehouse building
  • Remodel of the TEMCO grain elevator

“I can’t imagine Commission meetings without Alan’s smile and dry wit,” says Port Commissioner, Randy Sweet.  “The community, port and schools have lost a great friend, fireman and teacher.”

The administration and commissioners of Cowlitz County Fire District #5 will meet today with the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation, Kalama Professional Firefighters Local 4447, Longview Professional Firefighters Local 828, and the Cowlitz Chaplaincy for memorial remembrance planning.