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Vancouver May Pass Expansion Hurdle

The Columbia River Channel Improvement Project is more than 50% complete, according to the port, and taking action to gain ownership of Martin Island to compensate for the habitat changes that occur due to the project is critical to the continuation of the project. The purchase of mitigation land on the Washington side of the river is still to be complete, so the use of eminent domain is an option that is required by Federal regulations to complete the project. Most of the project is being paid for by the Federal government, with the remainder paid through a local match.

“The parties are continuing to try to work out an amicable solution,” said Larry Paulson, executive director, Port of Vancouver. “Based on e-mails I have received, they’ve made great strides since May 27.”

The commission unanimously approved a resolution that amends the port’s Comprehensive Scheme of Harbor Improvements and Industrial Development to provide for the deconstruction of agricultural buildings and the farm home at the former Rufener Farm. The buildings, which are located on what the port refers to as “Parcel 8” – the eastern-most plot on the property – were determined to have no value to the port district and are scheduled to be dismantled to allow for fill and development of the property.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to approve the first amendment to a lease between the port and Pacific Northwest Ship and Cargo Services for an 850-square foot office leasehold in the port’s Terminal Operations building. Income to the port for the one year extension will be $6,528, plus leasehold excise tax, insurance and Common Area Maintenance (CAM) fees.

The commission also unanimously authorized Paulson to sign Master On-Call Agreements for architect and engineering services with Wiser Rail Engineering, Jacobs Engineering, HDR, and Lochner. Each firm will be able to field a team to provide a full range of services for planning, design and permitting of rail-related facilities at the port. Typical projects would include installation of track and turnouts, retaining walls, signals, at-grade roadway crossings, and other systems needed for the construction of the port’s rail system.

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