In response to Newport’s fishing fleet lays it on the line…by Heather Munro Mann
Peter Bregman wrote:
I purchased 200 acres near Waldport in 2004. Upon retiring from my former profession of finance and investment and needing to learn more about growing timber, I joined the Lincoln County Small Woodland Association (OSWA) and then was elected Chairman in 2013.
In 2013, our association began working with the Port of Newport and Teevin Brothers to help re-establish a Log Export International Terminal. The Port, the timber growers and Teevin Brothers invested a lot of time and expense, winning a US Dept Transportation $2 million grant to make that a reality.
Not having such a facility in place has cost the local timber growers needed revenue, losing opportunities for a more competitive market and incurring substantial transportation costs to haul logs much further up or down the road. This was and continues to be lost revenue to them and to the Port in meeting their financial obligations as well as lost employment opportunities for the residents of Lincoln County. It’s been an uphill battle, and even though the Port had accommodated a log export terminal in the past, local neighbors objected to the newly rejuvnated International Terminal, and now the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative demands primary use of the facility year round.
The Port Board of Commissioners went through the expense of having the Beckett Group review all of the plans, and after having the opportunity to review that report, I fully concur with the groups’ analysis. Having been in the investment market for 40 years, I know and I am sure you know that to prosper, we must diversify our investments with income coming from different sources.
Multiple terminal operations will add to the diversity of our community investments. Because the Commissioners are elected to see that these operations are successful, diversity should be a key objective. The timber market, a sustainable one, is the oldest; plans for improving the port are in place, the companies involved are reputable; and the loan package available is very favorable, but the loan has an expiration date at the end of September. Neither we nor the Port Commission want to miss that deadline. The International Terminal’s success depends on their leadership. To make it work, they must bring all the various groups needing to use the terminal together.
My advice to the Newport Port Board of Commissioners is to unite, focus on your goals, work out the details, and follow the course of your plan. Success will come from positive action, not inaction. We should be glad that this decision can be made on a local level, rather than in Salem or Washington.
Thank you for the opportunity for allowing me to bring the OSWA view of the situation to your attention,
Judy & Jerry Pelletier wrote:
We support using Newport’s International Terminal for log and agricultural exports and near-shore barging of waste-paper and/or other materials as originally projected and financed (US Dept Transportation $2 million grant).
As small woodlands owners in Lincoln County, with a nice stand of mature hemlock, a species specific to the export market, we have waited patiently for many years, as have many woodlands owners, hoping that our capital investment could be realized.
We feel that the Port of Newport, the Terminal, Lincoln Co. and State of Oregon will benefit greatly from the harvest of our hemlock from Harvest Tax, State Income Tax, Port Terminal operations, etc. (Longshoreman Yale Fogarty stated in the minutes of 6/09/2017 Commission meeting that the facilities were built for shipping with money from shipping and that the Port is losing money and needs shipping income.)
Considering that the impetus and the grant money for the Port improvements came as a result of timber and agricultural export potential, we feel that decisions should be made to facilitate the return of shipping and export revenue to our Port. Therefore, shipping should take precedent over the unicentric demands of the Midwater Trawlers Cooperative with the hope that we all may find a pathway for cooperation that will enhance each others’ fortunes.
Judy & Jerry Pelletier
Information provided by Judy Pelletier