Nez Perce County Commission voices support for megaloads

Resolution is being promoted by industry consortium

By Sandra L. Lee of the Tribune
June 1, 2011
Nez Perce County commissioners took a stand Tuesday in support of oversized loads on U.S. Highways 95 and 12 and other state and federal highways in Idaho.

“(I) hope that all citizens, actually I know all citizens in Nez Perce County, support this,” Commissioner Douglas A. Zenner said.

Chairman Michael Grow qualified that a bit. Maybe everybody doesn’t approve it, he said, “but I believe the majority does.”

Commissioner Douglas W. Havens was absent, but Grow said he voiced his support during his run for office last fall and since then. “We know that Commissioner Havens is with us.”

The resolution adopted by the commission was authored by Ken Burgess of Veritas, a Boise public relations firm acting on behalf of Drive Our Economy, said Jeff Sayre, the industry consortium’s local representative. It’s made up of about 40 agriculture, timber, mining and business organizations in Idaho and Montana.

The oversized loads are an important economic boost for the community “and hopefully we can keep it for a long time,” Sayre told the commissioners.

Port of Lewiston Manager David Doeringsfeld said the megaloads are responsible for more than 300 jobs at the port, and dozens of vendors in town have benefited from the movement of the modules. “I think it’s an example of what the future might bring,” he said. “I would hope you will support commerce on Highway 12.”

Sayre said he has approached the city of Lewiston with a request to approve the resolution, although it hasn’t been considered by that council. He also intends to take it to Asotin and Whitman counties and the city of Clarkston, he said.

He also has approached some individuals on the Moscow City Council, Sayre said. Councilors there have endorsed the transportation of the oversized loads through their community, although the mayor has taken the opposite position.

Lee may be contacted at [email protected] or (208) 848-2266.