Port of Vancouver OKs $50M line of credit, pay raise

Money to pay for projects; executive director will get 2.5% bump to $191K

By Aaron Corvin, Columbian port & economy reporter

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The Port of Vancouver will secure a $50 million line of credit from KeyBank to pay for rail and other public works projects, thanks to a unanimous vote Tuesday by the port's Board of Commissioners.

The elected three-member board also unanimously approved a 2.5 percent increase in the annual salary of the port's executive director, Todd Coleman, effective May 1. That bumps up Coleman's salary by $4,719 — from $186,524 to $191,243.

His $500-a-month car allowance stays the same.

For perspective: The former executive director of the Port of Longview, Ken O'Hollaren, was receiving more than $135,000 annually before he retired at the end of last year.

The Port of Portland's executive director, Bill Wyatt, was receiving an annual salary of $346,565 in 2012.

Under the board's decision to tap a line of credit, the port will sell a revenue bond to KeyBank as collateral to secure a five-year, $50 million revolving line of credit to pay for infrastructure improvements, including building, maintaining and repairing rail, marine and terminal facilities.

In an online conversation hosted by The Columbian on Tuesday, Coleman, responding to a question about the line of credit, wrote that the port will use the $50 million it borrows from KeyBank "to time its investments in infrastructure with commitments from future customers."

The line of credit is not intended as a long-term funding measure, Coleman added, but instead offers "a short-term bridge for cash flow as committed revenues develop."

Aaron Corvin: http://twitter.com/col_econ;http://on.fb.me/AaronCorvin; 360-735-4518; aaron.corvin@columbian.com.