Port districts back off from merger idea
March 21, 2019
The Wahkiakum County Port 1 commissioners met last Thursday to talk about mergers, trunk shows, grant applications and more.
Commissioner Brett Deaton gave an update on talks between Port 1 and Port 2.
“We met Tuesday and talked about approaching an interlocal agreement first,” Deaton said. “Sharing equipment, sharing personnel to make it a little better between ports. Merging ports wasn’t even touched at that meeting. I think there is reluctance on both parts. They were pretty positive about an interlocal. I am too. It’s a long ways, in my opinion, from ever being one port, if ever. There is pushback.”
Lists of equipment are being made by managers at both ports and a future meeting is planned.
The port has been encouraged to apply for a grant through the Marine Resources Committee for a viewing platform or dock, Port Manager Jackie Lea said.
“There’s no matching. They pay for it all. We just can’t charge for usage. People could tie up and go get something to eat.”
The commissioners agreed and a motion was passed to apply for the grant.
With the forecast for spring salmon season looking grim, winter hours will remain in effect at the port while they continue to look for other sources of revenue.
The Wahkiakum Chamber of Commerce traditionally holds a salmon derby in the spring, but they and the port have been brainstorming, looking for new ways to bring people to Cathlamet and the marina. This year they are going to hold a Trunk Show. For $10, vendors can fill their trunks or trucks with items they want to sell and bring them to the marina on April 6 and 7. There will be music, outdoor games. River Mile 38, Maria’s Taco Stand and other local restaurants plan to participate.
Commissioners agreed that there would be a $1 charge for games.
The port also plans to put in five more semi-private campsites above Wesley Road.
Finally, Commissioner Scott Anderson suggested that the Port 1 consider being represented by two districts and an at large position.
“That way if you have two really qualified people that want to be part of the port in one district, it would help with that. It might drum up district wide interest for the one position that is at large,” Anderson said.
Counsel Tim Hanigan said he would research the matter.