Port of Newport Manager Don Mann announced Tuesday evening that the port has received enough state-backed financing to finish constructing the Newport International Terminal which now can be completed by the end of the year. A $400,000 loan component would not have to be paid back if the terminal caused at least 50 full time jobs to be created. Mann said that won’t be hard to do. Mann went on to give a progress report on two large exporting companies who are vying for the rights to provide the equipment and manpower to put the terminal to work with foreign exports, mainly logs, although Mann adds, “There will be lots of other exporters that will use Newport as their shipping point.”
Mann said both companies have been invited to participate in a public town hall meeting, sponsored by the port, that will outline the port’s plans for an active International Terminal. That town hall meeting, Mann said, will occur sometime in April. He said they will field any and all questions by the public relating to any aspect of the terminal’s operations. He has said that the port intends to operate a clean, low noise and economically prosperous operation that will benefit the entire community. He said everyone is invited to come and learn about what the International Terminal is all about and how it will give Newport’s economy a much needed boost. He said terminal activity should begin picking up in the first quarter of next year.
In addition to log exports and perhaps the export of finished lumber products, Mann said the terminal could become a hub for scientific research equipment and wave energy device assembly including on-loading and off-loading from ships, heavy equipment exports, West Coast Vacation Cruise ships, among other maritime uses.
Mann said that he and Port Commission Chair Joanne Barton expect to review the financial documents and then sign them Wednesday which will bring the final four million dollars to the International Terminal project.