Port of Toledo officials got a copy of Santa’s list long before he left his headquarters in Salem – Santa, that is, in the form of the Oregon Department of Transportation. It was well established by several Oregon Connect Five review teams that Toledo’s request for a 550 ton boat lift, to lift boats out of the water to work on them – NINE at a time on the ground – was a favorite around the state. And today that grand assumption that Toledo would get the nearly $4.7 million along with other boatyard improvements came true. The ODOT Commission officially awarded the Port of Toledo the money. It was the third highest amount awarded in this latest round of Connect Oregon Funds, made possible by the Oregon Lottery.
So the celebration was on even though one was surprised. But the joy, the excitement and the downright GLEE gripped the port office and many citizens of Toledo, knowing that the money was in the mail.
The next step is for the port to begin all the paperwork required to actually spend the money by ordering the lift. It will take many months to assemble. Once delivered, the manufacturer will train staff on how to run it. And that takes more time. As you can see from the photo, it is several orders of magnitude larger than the port’s current lift. Port Shoemake says it’ll enable the port to handle about 99% of the entire West Coast and Alaskan fishing fleet and that means a lot of new fishing boat work for the Port of Toledo – up to 100 family wage jobs on the horizon. And that’s nearly a third of the jobs at the GP Mill across the river from the Yaquina Boat Works.