International Terminal under construction
Now that the NOAA operations are up and running, and approaching a level that some might consider routine, Newport Port Commissioners are now even more focused on getting their other project, the International Terminal, finished up. And when complete, port officials say it will have a deep water dock and a shallow water dock. The docks will be used for general commercial cargo, cruise ship ports o’ call, commercial fishing support, general commerce, heavy loading and unloading for an array of vessels (including NOAA), and other opportunities not yet explored. Port Manager Don Mann said that they are probing possibilities of a combination grant/loan from the Oregon Department of Business Development as well as a Oregon Connect Four grant award. Sum total is around $3.9 million to finish the terminal.
And when it’s finished, the port has a number of large companies that would like to become partners with the port, among them Teevin Brothers based in Rainier. Shawn Teevin addressed the port commission for a while during this week’s port meeting saying that the Port of Newport is poised for a number of substantial economic opportunities in the export business. Teevin said his family has run a large operation out of Rainier that coordinates log shipments not only overseas, but up and down the west coast by barge. Teevin said if Newport allowed them to become a participant in the port’s future they would launch a very environmentally smart and neighbor friendly operation which could provide the port with a million dollars a year in income, or more. Teevin said they would put the Newport community first, with 22 family wage jobs by hiring local residents – not importing them from outside the area. It would also include more than 20 longshoreman when loading a ship that could produce more full time local longshore jobs as business grows. Their operations, he said, are very up to date, with pre-sorting of logs and storing them properly in an environmentally clean and safe facility. Teevin said they would keep noise to a minimum and that they are committed to being good neighbors. Teevin said it is his company’s long traditional philosophy to donate to worthy community projects and programs and that through such outreach they earn the role of being a true community partner.
As for the viability of the operation, Teevin and others refer to the ports of Astoria and Coos Bay as being frequently backed up with log loads that cause excessive and costly down time as trucks wait to unload onto barges. They say with the Port of Newport rejoining the export family of ports, it could help smooth out port operations for all ports in the northwest and help raise the productivity of log trucking while creating well-paying local jobs.
Port Commissioners thanked Teevin for his company’s interest in the future of the Port of Newport. But they added that before any new operations are launched, the port will hold public meetings to ensure that Newport residents get an accurate picture of what the future holds for port operations along with the costs as well as the economic benefits for the community as a whole. Port Manager Don Mann told News Lincoln County that those meetings are on the near horizon. He said the port should know more sometime this month.