EKO Compost not given any more time to vacate property

By ELAINE WILLIAMS of the Tribune

EKO Compost will have to wrap up its operations at the Port of Lewiston without further delay to make room for new industry.

Lewiston port commissioners Wednesday voted against extending a deadline for the company to vacate its 13-acre lot at the base of the Lewiston Hill.

EKO has until Dec. 31, 2015, to be off the site. The company requested more time to deal with the aftermath of losing a contract with the city of Lewiston to turn its yard waste and biosolids into compost after complaints about odor.

EKO stopped accepting those materials on June 30 and the following day Clearwater Composting, a company set up by Latah Sanitation, assumed that responsibility. Clearwater Composting uses a different process and is located at 3956 Industrial Way, close to Clearwater Paper and the Lewiston Livestock Market.

The problem is that EKO will have a three-year supply of compost for customers like Home Depot once it processes what is already on site.

Lewiston port commissioners, however, decided they had more important priorities than assisting a tenant that has already been provided one extension.

The port plans to build a sewer line to the EKO site and use dirt from it to level another 4 acres within the port. Those improvements are expected to help recruit businesses that would bring more jobs.

“It’s time to move forward,” said Port Manager David Doeringsfeld, after thanking EKO for being a good tenant. “I know it’s going to create some hardship, but it should be a hardship you guys knew was coming two years ago.”

Rick Truby, manager of EKO’s Lewiston operations, said his employer thought the proposal was one that benefited both parties. EKO’s lease generates more than $44,000 a year for the port.

“There’s not much we can do,” Truby said of the port’s decision.

Williams may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 848-2261.