Like most of you reading this update, my time and the Port’s focus of late has been spent responding to the Covid-19 crisis. While the financial impact to the Port of Newport hasn’t been crippling, it is being felt and will continue to be felt into the foreseeable future. As of the end of April, we calculated that our losses were around $20,000 but we are very aware that the full impact has yet to be felt.
As with any employer in an essential industry, our attention has been devoted to maintaining operations while putting protections in place for staff members and our customers. We’ve taken a number of steps, including:
installing a glass barrier between visitors and our office staff;
* providing those employees unable to work from home with 5 extra days of paid time off so people are comfortable staying home if they feel any sign of illness;
* discouraging vessels from side-tying unless they have permission from the neighboring boat;
providing face masks to those interacting with the public;
* adjusting work schedules to minimize the number of people in shared spaces when possible;
using online tools, like Zoom, for meetings.
As we continue to address the impacts of Covid-19, we are thankful for our federal representatives who are seeking additional support for Ports. You can read more about that here.
ARMY CORPS CHANNEL PROJECT
Late in 2019, we announced that the USACE would be considering whether or not to proceed with a project to deepen the channel in and out of the Port’s commercial marina. In April, Port Director of Operations Aaron Bretz announced that a kick-off meeting had been held and things were proceeding.
PORT DOCK 5
Title insurance, site certification, and the preparation of other documents are all being completed in anticipation of contracting – the next big step in our project. Actual construction is anticipated to start around November.