Port offices will move to marina building


News staff writer

January 27, 2007

Port of Hood River offices will get a brand-new look under one of several contracts approved by commissioners at their Jan. 23 meeting.

That included awarding the bid to remodel the marina center into port offices. The bid went to J.W.C. Construction LLC of Vancouver, Wash., for an amount not to exceed $366,300. That includes solar energy alternatives but not painting the exterior, which will be done separately.

Work is expected to begin in February. Once the remodel is completed, the port will consolidate its offices and conference room there as well as lease space to one additional tenant.

Commissioners also approved a contract with HNTB Corporation of Portland for $148,007 to install the electronic toll system at the toll plaza. The company will install all equipment required in the toll booth, office and security cameras in the booth and on the roadway. Under the services agreement, HNTB will also provide for software and hardware selection, installation and testing.

The electronic system will be used for the two outside lanes; the two inside lanes will maintain the traditional toll collections. The new system will enable users to drive through without stopping, with dashboard-mounted cards being read electronically as they pass. Customers will prepay funds into an account.

Commissioners approved a third contract to have the port work with Sesco, Inc. The agreement relates to environmental contamination remediation at Ken Jernstedt Airport in Hood River.

Under the agreement, the company will contact insurance carriers and work with the Department of Environmental Quality to see if some cleanup costs already paid out by the port can be recouped. If insurance firms pay out settlements, the port will receive 80 percent of the settlement and Sesco will take 20 percent.

The port is currently working with DEQ under the terms of a voluntary cleanup program. As part of its acquisition of the airport in 1978 from Hood River County, the port assumed benefits of insurance policies. That included carrying out a number of steps working with environmental contamination at the airport primarily related to historic use of agricultural pesticides at the site. During the years, the port has paid out $200,000 in those cleanup activities.

The commission approved a $178,965 insurance policy through Columbia River Insurance for the Hood River Bridge. Insurance broker Scott Reynier gave an overview of the facility’s coverage.

He said there was some concern within the insurance community about the current price of steel and that the amount of insurance placed on the bridge might not be enough to cover replacement if catastrophe struck. But he said the port commissioners might not want to go with the cost of higher insurance, either.

He also broached the issue of insurance coverage for the new Hood River Delta property. He said it would make a definite difference to the port as far as cost if the state proves their claim to the 30-plus acres. Reynier brought up the topic to let commissioners begin thinking about it but not as part of the vote on the meeting agenda.

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