From the Winter 2022 Newsletter –
As Port Commission president, I’m pleased by the hard work of commissioners and staff in 2021. The world continued to be impacted by the pandemic, but this past year was characterized in many cases by recovery both economically and socially. We are thankful for continued response from of our community’s public health professionals and volunteers as we continue to learn how to live with COVID-19.
The Port received $5 million by way of ODOT from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund authorized by HB 5006. This allocation recognizes that replacement of the aging steel bridge structure is critical for our regional economy. We appreciate Senator Chuck Thomsen’s and Representative Anna Williams’ strong leadership and commitment to the project as our representatives in Oregon’s Legislature. The bridge replacement project continues to be the top priority of the Port, with much energy and collaboration with our regional partners devoted each year to make progress on this monumental goal.
Budgeting and planning for a Port of Hood River future without the Bridge as a primary revenue source has been a major focus for the commission for a number of years now. It continues to be the primary focus for our strategy and decision-making.
Progress made toward two potential waterfront development projects, specifically the E. Anchor Way extension infrastructure project and the Lot #900 developer interest assessment conducted over the past six months is encouraging. Senator Thomsen also directed state ARPA funds to projects on the waterfront. Key utility and road infrastructure is needed to begin development for Lot 1, and the Port is moving forward with the E. Anchor Way extension project. The Port received six responses to its Request for Developer Interest for Lot #900. The Commission envisions a public-private partnership that includes leasing land long-term from the Port and developing the property to best suit the community with its commercial zoning.
Last summer the waterfront experienced record-breaking visitation. Expectations are for busy recreation seasons to continue to build due to high demand from residents and visitors. Locals and visitors alike are urged to remember the waterfront, especially the area around Nichols Basin, Frog Beach, the Sandbar, Spit, and Marina swim beach are dynamic and changing sediment deposits. With the return of warmer weather, please review water safety with your families and ensure that children always have a lifejacket on whenever they are near the water.
Port Commission President