Numerous improvement projects are underway at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield. The majority of work on the $1.5 million South Taxiway Rehabilitation Project occurred late last year, and a short punch-list will complete the job this spring. The project reconfigured the entire south ramp and taxiways in order to conform with Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requirements. The work includes grading, paving, storm-water installations, and fuel tank relocation. Contractor Crestline Construction is performing the work, with engineering and inspections by Century West Engineering.
An Environmental Assessment (EA) and wetland permit application for the north side of the airport is underway, a significant process involving the FAA and Army Corps of Engineers; on track for summer completion. Site prep work for the proposed Aviation Technology and Emergency Response Center is scheduled to occur this year. This project, funded primarily with a $1.36 million Connect Oregon VI grant, includes installation of utilities on Jeannette and Air Museum Drive, as well as grading, paving and fuel tank relocation. Bid requests for the site prep work are scheduled to go out this spring once the EA is approved, and the project will begin after selection of a contractor.
Finally, an agreement has been executed with Hood Tech Corp., Aero Inc. for the development of a 45,000 square-foot hangar/flex building near the airport south ramp. Ground-breaking is scheduled for summer 2018.
Fly Friendly Program Update
A new Fly Friendly Program at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield is the outcome of two airport public meetings held last summer aimed at finding solutions for increased noise at the airport. The voluntary program was developed with input from the Port’s Airport Advisory Committee (AAC), pilot community, local aviation businesses, the public, and the Port of Hood River. The goal of the program is to give guidance to local and visiting pilots regarding safety, noise reduction procedures, and neighborly flying. A grievance process when procedures are not followed has also been outlined. Communication pieces to inform about recommended protocols will be available in early spring and will include AWOS messaging, signage on taxiways, and flyers at the FBO. Information and reporting mechanisms are also available at portofhoodriver.com.
Event Site Construction
A stone embankment was constructed last fall at the Event Site and beach restoration followed, including the installation of approximately 300 yards of gravel. Former Port Commissioner Jon Davies took special interest in seeing this project completed.
New Odell Tenant
Chief Consulting Group, LLC leased 2,500 square-feet of space in the Port’s Timber Incubator Building in Odell. The hemp processing and distribution start-up is considered an agriculture product processor and falls under USDA regulations. Hemp is a non-psychoactive plant in the cannabis family.
Lot 1 Real Estate Analysis
Last fall the Port Commission approved a contract with EcoNorthwest to prepare a basic real estate economic analysis evaluating the relative impact of burdening future development of Lot 1 with significant infrastructure costs. The last remaining large parcel on the Hood River waterfront has been studied with community input for highest and best market use for development and constraints of the site. Main goals for development are to target competitive wage jobs, attain high-quality design and construction, complement Hood River’s downtown core, seek waterfront-compatible businesses, create a superior pedestrian environment with broad public access, and emphasize environmental sustainability.
Waterfront Parking Plan Implementation
The Port is moving forward on a plan to more effectively manage parking on Port-owned waterfront properties. The Commission authorized moving ahead with the plan, and the purchase of nine parking pay stations for installation on designated portions of the waterfront. The Port intends to select a firm to manage processing and collection of parking citations. Waterfront parking solutions have been under consideration for several years, encompassing a 2015 parking study by Rick Williams Consulting, Port participation in a 2016 Ad-Hoc committee with the City and waterfront businesses for a collaborative approach, and extensive updated parking data collected in 2017.