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PocketFuel moves to Halyard Building

The Port of Hood River has a third tenant for its waterfront Halyard Building.

The Port approved a lease agreement for Hood River startup PocketFuel at its Tuesday meeting.

PocketFuel will move into space 103 in the building and join Pfriem Brewing and Real Carbon as tenants.

The Port now says it expects the building to be fully occupied by the end of this year.

PocketFuel, which produces an almond butter-based energy snack, has seen its business rapidly grow in the last two years.

The almond butter is blended with nuts, seeds and fruits, many of which are local, and is sold in portable pouches.

It has found its way into more than 130 retail outlets, including REI and Whole Foods markets.

PocketFuel Director Mark Ribkoff told the Port at an earlier meeting the company is looking to move all of its operations into the Halyard Building, and wants to install the production facility at the front of the building so that passersby can see the product being made.

Ribkoff was traveling overseas on business this week and was unavailable to comment on the move.

In other business Tuesday:

n The Port reviewed its marina action plan for making improvements to the marina and to confirm the commission’s intent to move forward with the upgrades.

“We’re moving as fast as we can to get a new electrical system in and replace docks at boathouses,” said Port Executive Director Michael McElwee.

The Port hopes to have the marina electrical systems upgrade complete by July and the boathouse dock upgrade complete by November.

n McElwee also announced that this spring the Port will be partnering with the U.S. Geologic Survey to install a river level gauge near the Marina.

McElwee said the information collected from the gauge would help the Port and river users have a better idea of the river height and conditions.

The information could be used both by commercial and recreational boaters on the river, toll booth staff to determine when bridge lifts are needed and port staff to review for high water planning and kite launching and landing at the Event Site.

Data collected from the gauge will be posted on the USGS website and would be available on the Port’s website as well.

n The Port conducted its first successful attempt at having a commissioner Skype into the meeting. Commissioner Rich McBride was on vacation in Hawaii, but was able to join electronically through the Skype Internet video conferencing service.

“He sat there for three and a half hours with the tradewinds blowing listening to this,” McElwee said with a laugh.

n The Port announced that prior to its Feb. 5 meeting the commissioner packets used during the meetings will be available on the Port’s website, and should be available electronically for all future meetings.

Paper copies will still be available by request.

n Prior to the port meeting the Oregon State Marine Board held a public comment session on a proposed no wake zone in the Nichols basin.

The zone would be within a marked area approximately 494 feet by 155 feet.

Those wishing to comment may submit written comments to the board until Jan. 31. Comments may be emailed to: OSMB.rulemaking @state.or.us.

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