Port of C-W will use grant to plan site’s redevelopment

38 acres includes former Hambleton Lumber mill property

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

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The Port of Camas-Washougal will take the first step toward cleaning up a key waterfront site thanks to a $200,000 grant from the state Department of Ecology, the port said Wednesday.

The port will use the grant money to hire a consultant to craft a plan for about 38 acres of waterfront property, including redevelopment of the 25-acre former Hambleton Lumber mill, said David Ripp, executive director for the port.

Ripp said the port has identified a consulting firm to do the work — Vancouver-based Maul, Foster and Alongi — and that the port’s Board of Commissioners is expected to vote on a contract with the company on July 19.

The consultant’s plan will spell out what it will take to clean up contaminants at the site of the former Hambleton sawmill and to redevelop it. It also will produce a strategy for restoring natural habitat in the area and providing public access to the waterfront.

The Hambleton parcel, owned by Hambleton Bros. Lumber Co., extends east of the port’s boating marina and connects to port-owned property at Sixth Street in Washougal. The sawmill shut down in the summer of 2010. More than 40 workers lost their jobs with the closure.

Ripp said the port’s primary goals are to breathe new life into the Hambleton property to create jobs and to transform the overall 38 acres of property, including 13 acres of port-owned land, into a publicly accessible waterfront gem.

“We want to get it back on line,” he said of the Hambleton site. The port can’t afford to purchase the entire 25-acre Hambleton property, Ripp said, so it would seek to acquire a portion of it to help spark its redevelopment.

The $200,000 grant only covers planning. Decisions about how to pay for the environmental cleanup, and how to finance redevelopment of the Hambleton parcel will come later.

Ripp said the port is working with the owner of the Hambleton property, and the public will be invited to weigh in on the future of the site.