Lewiston port plan calls for boost in containers

Posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:00 am

By ELAINE WILLIAMS of the Tribune | 0 comments

Increasing monthly container volumes to 433 per month is a goal listed in a draft strategic plan recently released by the Port of Lewiston.

The average for the first nine months of this year is 356, according to figures provided by the port at a Wednesday meeting that included a public hearing on the document.

“The county is interested in working closely with the port,” Tippett said.

Besides boosting container traffic, the port wants to expand a business incubator and grow a fiber optic network. The incubator has provided a home for ventures like Seekins Precision, which makes components for AR-15s, and Clearwater Canyon Cellars, a winery.

The 21-page document is short on details and doesn’t get into specifics, such as how the port would recruit new customers or where money for the incubator might come from.

It also makes no mention of mega-

loads, which made more than $500,000 for the port in 2010 and 2011. That was when Imperial Oil barged 33 of the oversized loads to the port, then made them into smaller shipments when the company was unable to get permission to ship them on U.S. Highway 12.

The port’s objectives regarding extra-big cargo fall under larger initiatives such as becoming an international trade center for the region and creating a dynamic transportation hub, manager David Doeringsfeld said.

In other business, the port held a public hearing on the sale of 3.88 acres at 980 Colonel Way for $331,056 to Inland Auto Glass.

The company wants to construct a 16,000-square-foot building on the site where it would stage projects for out-of-town contracts in places like Seattle and Bellingham, Wash., said Inland Auto Glass owner Kirk Stedman.

His business fabricates windows for public buildings like schools and hospitals, with a typical job running anywhere from $1 million to $3 million, Stedman said.

He can be competitive in part because the cost of doing business in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley is so much lower than in western Washington and Oregon, Stedman said.

His crew runs between 25 to 50, and those employees make upward of $50 per hour on some jobs, Stedman said.

The port commissioners also approved a $119,410 bid for Summit Roofing to fix 20,000 square feet of the roof on the Seaport Business Center, where LC Ice Arena is located. The remaining 40,000 square feet of the roof was previously repaired.

Williams may be contacted at

[email protected] or (208) 848-2261.