Port of Port Angeles commissioners state top four priorities

Originally, the plan had 18 initiatives — too many for the port’s level of staffing and requirements of ongoing operations, a port official said.

PORT ANGELES — Port commissioners have narrowed down the top four priorities for the Port of Port Angeles’ strategic plan.

During a special meeting Monday, commissioners told staff to focus on expanding maritime commerce, establishing and maintaining air service, promoting innovative value-added wood-products manufacturing and actively marketing vacant properties.

Originally, the plan had 18 initiatives — too many for the port’s level of staffing and requirements of ongoing operations, said Karen Goschen, executive director.

“It would really be of tremendous benefit to know the key areas the commission wants the staff to focus on,” she said. “We have too many initiatives to focus on in one year.”

While the 18 initiatives are still included in the plan, the port will focus on the top four.

The strategic plan will be used to guide the port’s budget, she said.

The port needs to proactively market its vacant properties and attract new tenants, said Colleen McAleer, commission president.

“It’s the low-hanging fruit that would help us with [return on investment],” she said. “I think it would be quite a bit of revenue we’d see if your buildings were filled.”

Commissioner Connie Beauvais pushed an initiative calling for promoting innovative value-added wood products while working to achieve a reliable and sustainable timber harvest.

“Unless we encourage those industry people to come and unless we help to get that reliable, sustainable timber harvest for them, it won’t happen,” she said. “That is a resource we have right in our backyard.”

McAleer told Beauvais the port should be careful when it come to advocacy.

Though the commissioners were asked to narrow it down to only three initiatives, Commissioner Steve Burke suggested including wood-products initiative as a fourth.

Goschen said that sometime around 2018 or 2019, the port will consider a significant review of the strategic plan and engage the public.

With each of the top priorities, the port will develop action plans and report back to the commissioners on a quarterly basis. The port will be more reactive regarding the other 14 priorities and take advantage of opportunities as they become available.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at jmajor@peninsula dailynews.com.

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