Ports model efficiency for L-C Valley

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

By ELAINE WILLIAMS of the Tribune | 0 comments

Three employees load barges at the Port of Lewiston and handle about 25 containers per hour.

When those vessels reach Portland, Ore., they’re met by a 13-member crew whose speed equals that of the much smaller team upstream, said David Doeringsfeld, manager of the Port of Lewiston.

That’s just one way the port makes efficient use of resources, Doeringsfeld said. He was a speaker Wednesday at the Lewis Clark Valley Chamber of Commerce State of the Valley lunch at the Red Lion Hotel in Lewiston.

Doeringsfeld and his counterpart from the Port of Clarkston, Wanda Keefer, talked about how they seek long-term investments that will create economic growth in the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley.

By making wise use of a limited staff, the Port of Lewiston can take the $450,000 it gets each year in property tax revenue, plus another $250,000 from its budget, and invest in infrastructure, Doeringsfeld said.

The port has purchased land creating sites for businesses and is extending its container dock. Once the dock expansion is done, two barges, not one, will be able to moor at a time and employees will be safer as they work, Doeringsfeld said.

The Port of Clarkston takes a similar approach, looking at how it can combine local tax dollars with money from other state and federal sources, Keefer said.

It’s preparing to build roads in the first 55-acre section of a new business park on the west side of Evans Road between Ben Johnson Road and Sixth Avenue near the Clarkston Heights.

It’s also creating a fiber optic communications network, Keefer said. “We only do the basic infrastructure. We don’t light the fiber. We don’t compete with Internet service providers.”

Williams may be contacted at

[email protected] or (208) 848-2261.