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Economic and dam related articles

State Grant Provides
Port Review Funding

by Dean Brickey
East Oregonian, February 12, 2010

BOARDMAN - Hoping to have about 2,000 acres state-certified as "shovel ready" for industry, Port of Morrow commissioners Wednesday accepted a state grant.

The technical assistant grant for up to $60,000 will help finance a $72,000 environmental and cultural review of the port's East Beach industrial area. The matching grant is coming from the state's Special Public Works Fund. That means the port must pay for $12,000 of the work.

"This will be a big help toward getting the property certified as industrial," said General Manager Gary Neal.

Lisa Mittelsdorf, the port's economic developer, said Plateau Investigations of Pullman, Wash., will conduct the review. All of the property, which is east of the port offices, is zoned industrial. Industry has leased some of the property and some remains in agricultural production.

In other business Wednesday, commissioners:

A four-month closure, however, will begin Dec. 10 and last through March 18, 2011, at John Day and The Dalles dams. The Bonneville locks will close for two weeks of annual maintenance in March 2011 and McNary's locks will close Feb. 6, 2011, for five weeks of annual maintenance.

Neal said the closures will help provide a reliable shipping system for the next 30-50 years.

"With this longer term closure comes sustainability and longer-term reliability for our shippers," he said.

Commissioner Joe Taylor added, "We're trying to take care of these problems now rather than later."

And Commissioner Don Russell commented, "It'll be a one-time inconvenience for shippers from Nebraska west."

Dean Brickey
State Grant Provides Port Review Funding
East Oregonian, February 12, 2010

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