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Posted on May 2, 2019

Port commissioners talk about electricity, industrial property development

The most recent meeting of the board of commissioners of the Port of Quincy was dominated by a long and in-depth discussion of electricity.
Kevin Nordt, the general manager and CEO of Grant PUD, was a guest speaker at the April 24 meeting. Aided by slides, Nordt’s presentation, titled “Our Vision for a New Decade,” covered the complex business of electricity and the history behind Grant PUD.
Growing demand for power and Grant PUD’s two Columbia River dams put the utility in an enviable position.
“There is no better power resource than the Priest Rapids Project,” Nordt said.
But a theme in the presentation was a looming need to expand power resources because of growth in Grant County, particularly industrial demand for power. But, the need to expand resources is not necessarily a bad thing, Nordt said, nor is it unusual among public utilities.
Port commissioners listened intently and gave a lot of time for discussion. At least three Grant PUD commissioners were present, and they helped answer questions from the Port commissioners.
Curt Morris said the Port would like to continue to grow and power is a component of that. He also emphasized the board’s desire to cooperate with the PUD.
“We are all in this pot together,” Morris said.
Nordt agreed, echoing the cooperative spirit.
“If there’s more we can do, just let me know,” Nordt said.
For the rest of the meeting, the Port board moved rapidly through its agenda.
In the Port’s Industrial Park 4, a sewer improvement project is essentially complete.
Two companies that are moving onto that land, just to the east of Columbia Way, needed sewer service, explained Larry Julius, project manager with Gray & Osborne Inc., an engineering firm that does work for the Port of Quincy. The city has a sewer main to the southeast, so the Port hired a contractor to connect sewer pipe for the companies, Zoomhash and Raceway Technology.
Raceway is to move into a building to be built this summer by the Port on nine acres in Park 4, at the southeast corner of Columbia Way and Intermodal Way. Julius said the building, designed by Gray & Osborne, is basically a 16,000-square-foot rectangular manufacturing structure, in one story but with office space and a second story with offices.
Construction of the $2.5 million project is forecast to start around the second week of June and estimated to finish at the end of October.
Raceway manufactures PVC pipes and fittings.
“It’s a good fit for them in Quincy,” Julius said. He estimated that Raceway will employ 60 in Quincy.
Electrical improvements at the Port’s Industrial Park 5, in George, were discussed. Julius said Stetner Electric started construction last week to add light poles on Garnet Way, the new road into Park 5, as well as provide electrical service for the rest of the ground in the industrial park that has not been sold yet. Park 5 is an attractive growth opportunity for the city of George.
“It’s great for both the Port and the city of George,” Julius said.
Commissioners also briefly discussed the sign in the works for Park 5 near Garnet Way.
Chris Dowd said Colockum Ridge Golf Course is in good shape. Commissioners discussed ways to market the course and increase play, and Morris warned that marketing may cost the Port a bit.

By Dave Burgess,