Newport Port Commissioners will be asked Tuesday evening to strongly consider not moving ahead with the long planned construction of a new port headquarters building – that is – until the port’s finances are a bit stronger.
In a memo to his port commissioners, Port General Manager Kevin Greenwood said the port’s main income generator to help pay for the renovations to the International Terminal, log exporting company Teevin Brothers, is forecasting a continued slow down in Chinese demand for raw logs from the U.S. Greenwood said that Teevin Brothers predicts a continued slow down in shipments to China so there likely will be substantially fewer ships being loaded at the International Terminal bound for the Orient. Therefore income to the port will be appreciably less than earlier envisioned.
Greenwood said after evaluating the port’s financial reserves and the impact of a prolonged log export slow down, now may not be the time to be adding a million dollar administration building to the port’s debt service. But at the same time, Greenwood said he believes the export slowdown will be temporary and that the port will pull through just fine and that the administration building will be built eventually.
Greenwood adds that the future looks bright for the port in that tourism cruise ships can be added to the terminal’s list of mooring customers and that other industries will certainly be using the terminal.
The Newport Port Commission will be talking about this and other issues coming before the commission Tuesday night, 6pm at the South Beach Marina Activities Room. The public is always cordially invited to attend.