Updates from the Port of Newport
An Update on Infrastructure Projects
With the fiscal year 2020/21 only six weeks away from completion, now is a good time to update you on the progress we’ve made over the past year on many of the projects outlined in our Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). This five-year plan was published in the 2019 update of the Port of Newport Strategic Business Plan. While this isn’t the comprehensive list, it includes projects that have moved closer to fruition this year.
Commercial Marina: After years of planning and effort to obtain funding, the Port Dock 5 approach pier is currently under construction. In fact, concrete is being poured today. Additionally, the CIP included replacement of some specific rods, bumpers, rub boards, and power pedestals. Those items are included in the 2021/22 budget. We are on track to meet the 2022 timeline for the commercial marina improvements except for the replacement of two pilings, which will require a federal permit, likely pushing the project to 2022/23.
Newport International Terminal (NIT): A number of grading and asphalt projects are itemized in the CIP and the first of those will be accomplished in the next two months, giving the Port 19,000 additional square feet of paved storage space. Grading of 9 acres in the 2021/22 fiscal year, will be followed by the remaining paving in the 2022/23 budget. Additionally, the Port has budgeted $30,000 to create a plan for marketing the facility to potential users. We are currently awaiting word on grant funding to underwrite that effort.
South Beach Marina: Although the CIP and our initial planning had new electrical load centers installed throughout the marina over a three-year period, all were installed this year well ahead of schedule. We have also been installing new security cameras, meeting another of the marina’s safety and security goals. The plan also calls for replacing a fuel tank and replacing or relocating electrical lines to the hoist. Both of those will be included in our 2022/23 budget, well within the 2024 goal.
Rogue Seawall Repair: Although we will not meet the original goal of making repairs to the seawall by the end of 2021, an engineering inspection is now underway and should outline what issues need to be addressed and the various options for repair. Our search for grant funding is integral to this project and grants from Business Oregon and Lincoln County paid for the engineering consultant.
SB RV Park Annex: The uncertainties of COVID-19 led us to delay the start of this project, but our 2021/22 budget now includes review and conceptual planning for a redesign of the RV Park Annex.
BONUS! Although not specifically identified in the CIP, the Port entered into an agreement in 2021 with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a dredging feasibility study that could lead to deeper channels into the commercial marina – a much-needed step for future marina reconfiguration.
Spring at the Port of Newport means intense focus on upcoming projects, budgets, and goals, and this year was no different. Even though you can see that the Port has made great progress on infrastructure projects this year, this was also a planning year at the Port. Our administrative team has been focused on prioritizing goals, putting together strategies, and generally situating ourselves to pursue some major projects. Why? Because we believe that 2021/22 will be our year to chase the big bucks! With major improvements needed to Port Dock 7, aging infrastructure around our campus, and the larger goal of reconfiguring the commercial marina, successfully competing for grant dollars is a high priority.
While those efforts are underway, we are also taking smaller steps to make sure our facility needs are addressed. One way to do that is to start a regular rotation of asset inspections. To start, we have budgeted $60,000 in 2021/22 to hire an independent inspector to take a close look at the commercial marina facilities. This last year, we had a holding tank fail and the cost, both in repairs and in manpower, reminds us that forewarned is forearmed. On a revolving schedule, we will take a closer look at our facilities and identify upkeep needs hopefully before problems occur.
Planning for the future, keeping contingency funds strong so we are agile enough to respond to opportunities, and providing for smooth operations that benefit our users and our community are at the forefront of all Port activities. We also strive to do all of this in a transparent, informative fashion. If you have questions about any of our upcoming projects or operations, I invite you to reach out to me. I am happy to answer any questions. Call 541.265.7758