From the Winter 2022 Newsletter –
The Port of Hood River’s 2021-2026 Strategic Business Plan (“Plan”) was approved last summer by the Port Commission after an extended development timeline. The document will guide policies, operations, and projects over the next five years.
The Plan focuses on the key actions (construction, maintenance, programs, policies and regulations) the Port intends to take in the near term. The document gives more information about why and how the Port created the Plan, why and how the Port is pursuing its selected goals with certain actions, and the schedule and cost for implementing improvements. The 38-page Plan document has 33 appendices that contain the background information and analysis that support its recommendations.
The Plan effort began in 2019. The COVID pandemic prolonged the typical timeline for development of such a plan by at least eight months while other course corrections also occurred. But, as described in the Plan’s text, “… the Port Commission, staff, and stakeholders have, in the last two years, done a lot of work on priority issues within each service area of the Port. It is better to use the Plan to consolidate and integrate that work than to work from new data to come to new conclusions about priorities.”
The Port revisited its mission and values as part of the process. Situational assessments were also completed for all the Port’s major interests including the bridge, airport, real estate and property development, and waterfront recreation within the context of the region.
The Port Commission hosted planning workshops, conducted public meetings, sought input from advisory committees, and solicited public input via paper and online surveys while the Plan was developed. Through multiple special work sessions, public outreach activities, committee meetings, and regular session discussions of the Commission, important strategic planning decisions were made, Commission direction was provided, and all was recorded in the final Plan and its appendices.
Last May, the Commission reviewed the Plan outline and a summary memo from consultant Terry Moore of Good Next Steps on the thinking behind the development process and Plan structure, particularly in the way the Plan characterizes the Port’s six service areas, the central concern of bridge replacement, and how it relates to all other areas of operation. Commission consensus was to move forward with recommendations. A final draft was created for review before the end of the Port’s 2020-2021 fiscal year. The Port Commission reviewed the final draft text with particular attention on proposed capital projects for individual service areas, and staff recorded all Commission recommendations to the final 2021-2026 Strategic Business Plan.
“It was an intensive process but we now have a Strategic Plan as a near-term playbook,” Port Executive Director Michael McElwee said. “We also continue to think about the Port’s long-term future because of our important role as stewards of public assets.” McElwee considers one of the most important pieces of the Plan to be the Key Projects List, prioritized to not only focus the Port on its goals, but also qualify potential projects for State funding.
The Plan was developed by Port of Hood River staff with assistance from consultants as directed by the Port of Hood River Commission. To review the complete Plan, visit: portofhoodriver.com/strategic-business-plan.