By Kiera Morgan
The city of Newport city council and the Port of Newport commissioners held a joint meeting on Friday. Part of the discussion included an update on the Port International Terminal Project. Kevin Greenwood Port General Manager told the council that the majority of their facilities run in the black, with the exception right now of the international terminal. Port Commissioner Ken Brown reported that increasing the cargo at the terminal should not affect the fishing industry that utilizes the dock space. “There will be plenty of room for both uses. The unique factor is that we are going to be if not the only, one of the few ports that has International shipping and fishing mixed together at the same facility. No one else does that.”
Port Commissioner Steve Beck explained that the port will be able to do a lot more for the fishermen and the community when they getting shipping going. “Loosing money on the International Terminal is really putting a lot of things on the back burner. We are doing what we can with the cash flow that we have but we should be able to have a positive cash flow once we have shipping we will be a couple of hundred thousand dollars above where we are currently today.”
He said each shipment will bring in about $80,000 in tariff revenue. Kevin stated that this will also create about 50 new jobs. Plus the trickle down benefits. The cargo ships will be on a schedule so it will allow for coordination between them and the fishing fleet. The port is currently working to complete the needed funding for getting that work started. Port commissioners told the council they are anxious to get the area developed in order to increase jobs and economic development in Newport.