Port Continues Investing in Long-Term Local Job Growth with FY18 Budget, POL, June 14, 2017

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 14, 2017

CONTACT: David Doeringsfeld, Port of Lewiston Manager
(208) 743-5531
[email protected]


(Lewiston, ID) – Following a public hearing on Wednesday, June 14, Port of Lewiston Commissioners approved a $1,545,260 Expense Budget for Fiscal Year 2018, which runs July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018.

The budget is lower than the past two fiscal years. During that period, reserve funds were tapped to complete the initial build-out of a dark fiber optic network that will help facilitate high speed broadband services. The network ranges from North Lewiston to south of the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport. The Port of Lewiston’s network currently consists of approximately 14 miles. It connects to the Port of Clarkston’s network at Southway Bridge to offer redundancy to customers. Both valley networks tie into the Port of Whitman County’s extensive dark fiber network, which runs from the LC Valley to Spokane.

Review the budget: http://portoflewiston.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/FY18-Proposed-Budget.pdf

FY18 Economic Development Investment: Dark Fiber Network

In FY18, the Port will continue working on several projects aimed to grow businesses and jobs for the local economy, with $615,156 budgeted for economic development. Extensions to the fiber network top the list of projects.

“Internet reliability, security and redundancy are expectations of businesses in the 21st century in the same way as water, sewer and electricity,” said Commission President Mike Thomason. “The Port’s dark fiber network will help current businesses stay competitive and grow, and it will help attract new businesses to our region.”

Other FY18 Economic Development Investments:

  • To continue work to prep approx. 15 acres at Harry Wall Industrial Park
  • Design for a second incubator building for start-up businesses
  • Improvements to Col. Wright Way in conjunction with the City of Lewiston

 “With the projects planned for FY18, the Port is continuing to lay strong foundations for future job growth,” said Commission Vice President Jerry Klemm. “We look to help existing businesses expand and new businesses get started here as a result of these investments in economic development.”

FY18 Notable Revenue Increases:

The Port will see an increase of approximately $51,300 from Clearwater Paper’s new operation at the Port dock. The company is using Port facilities to import sawdust for the production process at its Lewiston mill. Anticipated revenue for all Dock and Warehouse Operations totals $457,000.

Rental income will also increase slightly with the addition of Broemeling Steel & Machine as a tenant on just over 2 acres near FedEx in the Harry Wall Industrial Park. Rental income for all Port properties is estimated at $465,363 for the year.

Other revenue sources include fiber lease agreements and tax revenues.

FY18 Property Taxes: Taxpayer Investment

The Port continues to make significant investments to benefit Nez Perce County while minimizing the use of taxpayers’ dollars. According to the 2016 Property Tax Breakout for City of Lewiston Property Owners from Nez Perce County, the Port accounts for only 0.68 percent of a Lewiston homeowner’s tax bill. The average Lewiston homeowner pays less than $16/year to the Port to fund economic development projects, not operations.

The FY18 proposed tax levy revenue for the Port is $405,000. From FY1990 to FY2016, the property tax levy rate has dropped by 64.3 percent. The tax levy rate will decrease an additional 4.8 percent under the FY18 budget.

“Taxpayers experience a high return on investment with the Port of Lewiston,” said Secretary/Treasurer Mary Hasenoehrl. “We pride ourselves on maintaining a healthy balance between being fiscally conservative and taking on important projects aimed at growing local jobs.”

According to a 2014 Economic Impacts Study by Economist Steve Peterson:

  • Every $1 of taxpayer investment in the Port creates $8.80 in local tax revenue.
  • 1,840 direct jobs are in the region from firms and businesses associated with properties owned or developed by the Port.
  • There is approx. $390 million in direct regional spending associated with direct jobs.

Review the study: http://portoflewiston.com/facts/port-of-lewiston-economic-impacts/

FY17 Amended Budget Approved

Also approved at the June 14 meeting was the FY17 Amended Budget, totaling $2,517,423.

“FY17 was a huge success,” said Thomason. “The Port’s healthy financial position allowed us to complete the initial 14 miles of our dark fiber network. We also made significant investments at Harry Wall Industrial Park and our existing Business Incubator Building.”

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