Newport port attorney confident that the port will have a log export lease signed by the end of November
Port of Newport Commissioners Tuesday night mourned the sudden loss of Port Commissioner Lloyd “Oly” Olson who died Sunday at his home in Newport. He was 66 and reportedly died of a massive heart attack. Commission President JoAnn Barton eulogized Oly Olson as “a great guy,” dedicated to the economic well being of the community. She said she especially appreciated his smart, innovative thinking while serving on the Port/City of Newport Terminal Task Force. She said Oly spent his life in public service in a 35 year career with the National Park Service, culminating his government employment as a high ranking administrator at Yosemite National Park in Central California. She said she will miss Oly’s methodical search for answers to community challenges and his ability to see all sides to an issue fairly and to seek workable solutions. She said she will miss Oly and that his passing reminds everyone that tomorrow is guaranteed to no one.
Barton then launched a discussion of how the port will fill the now vacant seat on the commission. It was assumed that the replacement would be by appointment of the board. However, Commissioner Walter Chuck raised a question whether the board could appoint the person who also ran in the last election but came in second behind Walter Chuck. That was Dennis Bishop who sued the port for allegedly damaging his boat. President Barton and Vice-President Jincks said they didn’t think that the appointment of a number 2 finisher was possible under port policies but that they would look into the issue with the port’s attorney.
In the meantime, there is a vacancy on the Port of Newport Commission. All persons interested in being appointed to serve should submit a letter of interest by mailing it to, or dropping it off at the Port Office at 600 SE Bay Boulevard, Newport, OR, 97365.
In other port news, the port received an update from Port Attorney Mike Haglund who wrote in a letter to the commission that negotiations between the port and Hancock Timber and Teevin Brothers Log Export companies will be wrapping up by the end of November with a signed lease for use of the area immediately east of the International Terminal. Teevin intends to stack Hancock Timber logs there and then transfer them dockside for loading aboard ships bound for the Far East. Those ships come with their own onboard cranes to lift and store the logs below decks.
But in order to accommodate these larger ships, the port has requested the Army Corps of Engineers to dredge the area around the terminal to a depth of 35 feet, which allows them to be loaded to capacity. The state Department of Environmental Quality and State Lands Division are reviewing the port’s permit application. Part of the requirements involve offsetting the environmental damage caused by expanded dredging by enhancing the aquatic environment in other parts of the bay to make up for lost production of critters that become fish food as well as habitat for other wildlife. President Barton said the port is still working on that end of it.
Attorney Mike Haglund also noted that another timber company, Alcan of Anchorage, AK, expects to finalize a lease with the Siletz Tribe to use some of their property at the old Toledo Mill for log processing and then transfer to the Teevin area at the International Terminal. Haglund says the short-term lease agreement with Alcan will also be available with other firms that need short-term access to the terminal for staging export or import cargos. Haglund reported that negotiations with Alcan should be completed by mid-November.
Haglund also reported to the commission that an appeal before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), brought by neighbors who oppose logging trucks on Moore Drive and the Bay Road, as well as the use of the terminal for a log export operation, was argued on October 10th. Haglund said LUBA allowed Teevin Brothers and other interests to act as intervenors as supporting the city. Haglund predicted that LUBA will reach a decision on the appeal no later than November 12th.
Correction: Ken Brown came in second behind Oly Olson.