The Port of woodland Commission approved the 2020 preliminary budget providing a two-cent reduction in port taxes from last year’s budget in balance with nearly $8 million in capital projects planned for the upcoming year.
“Given our new business model, we have more tools like selling non-income producing property that will meet several goals of the Port. First, selling these properties provides needed income towards constructing our two new industrial parks. Second, it provides new business opportunities through selling these properties for companies looking to build in Woodland needing the land purchase as part of their financial plan. Third, it allows the Port to reduce the tax burden on the residents all while increasing the valuation through business development. This was a triple win for the Port of Woodland and our citizens,” stated Commissioner Paul Cline.
The Port’s capital projects include multiple elements of the Centennial and Rose Way Industrial Parks along Guild Road, partnering with ports on dark fiber loop to create redundant and affordable services throughout the District, and several planning projects to address public access, mitigation, infrastructure and transportation. Many of the projects will utilize state and federal grant opportunities totaling over $7 million that are currently pending and will be determined before the end of the year.
“It is critical for the Port to ensure we work towards a goal of reducing the tax burden on our citizens all while creating family wage jobs,” stated Commissioner Bob Wile.
Commissioner Dale Boon noted that the change in business plan “allows the Commission to have more options and to move forward on these big-ticket projects rather than phasing them out and will bring businesses to the Port sooner rather than later.”
Providing some prospective to the aggressive nature of the Port, Executive Director Jennifer Wray-Keene looks to prior budgets of identifying significant projects without funding mechanisms beyond increasing property taxes to bond for such projects. “Over the last few years, the Port has worked on the elements of these projects completing the required planning and studies. Now we are in a position to get under construction in the new year, and get these two industrial parks constructed as we need more buildings. We have been 100% occupied in our buildings for over four years. This development is greatly needed. To accomplish this work through other funding sources was necessary to achieve the work of the Port.”
The Port received state funding for extending Howard Way and infrastructure in 2019, and currently has three grant packages to state and federal sources pending that will be determined in the next month.
The public is invited to view the Port’s budget available online or at the Port Administrative Building. The public is invited to attend the final budget hearing November 19 at 3 PM.