By Kiera Morgan
The Port of Newport Board of Commissioners held a special meeting on June 27th to further discuss the Silvan Agreement; Teevin Lease, a 3-Party Agreement w/ Port of Newport, Silvan and Teevin, a draft Terminal Usage Resolution and IFA Loan Resolution & Agreement.
During public comment there were several who spoke to the board and asked them to look at the agreements carefully to make sure that it will work for the fishermen, shippers and small woodland owners. It was also pointed out that this issue is dividing the community. The natural resource community should work together so it is a win win for everyone.
Port manager Kevin Greenwood gave his recommendations to the board. Points in favor of the project included that this has been the Port’s number one goal since 2014; There is also the 2.5 million TIGER grant; It holds up the port’s promise on the GO bond; provides an opportunity for funds for needed port maintenance.
Points against the project included that the current financing proposal would take longer to pay back and is less profitable; Prolonged negotiations have increased cost estimates and delayed shipments; There are several issues with the Teevin/Silvin agreement that do not benefit the port;
Black out periods of the fishing industries high use times should be included in the agreement. At the end of the meeting to board approved for staff to continue to work on the project and postpone any further vote until the full commission could be seated.
The audio of the port meetings, including the special meeting can be found under the Port News section of the website.